Moratorium Requirements on Disposals of Listed Land

AuthorWilliam Webster/Robert Weatherley
Chapter 36

Moratorium Requirements on Disposals of Listed Land


36.1 This chapter deals with the moratorium requirements which apply only to ‘a relevant disposal’ of the land.1A disposal is a ‘relevant disposal’ in the case of freehold land if it is a disposal with vacant possession.2In the case of a qualifying leasehold estate,3the relevant disposal will be a grant or assignment of the leasehold estate with vacant possession.4If a ‘relevant disposal’ in the case of either freehold or leasehold land is made in pursuance of a binding agreement, the disposal is treated as being entered into when the agreement becomes binding.5

36.2 An owner of listed land must not enter into a relevant disposal unless each of what are described as conditions A–C is met.6

36.3 Condition A is that the owner has notified the local authority in writing of that person’s wish to enter into a relevant disposal of the land.7

1LA 2011, s 95. In other words, the moratorium rules in s 95 apply only to disposals of listed land and would not, for instance, apply if a building was going to be demolished without being sold.

2LA 2011, s 96(2).

3LA 2011, ss 96(6) and 107(3)–(5): a ‘qualifying leasehold estate’ means an estate by virtue of a lease of the land for a term which, when granted, had at least 25 years to run. If there is only one leasehold estate the owner of the land is the person in whom that estate is vested. If there are a number of leases in the same land the owner, for these purposes, is the person whose lease is more distant (in terms of the number of intervening leasehold estates) from the freehold estate.

4LA 2011, s 96(3).

5LA 2011, s 96(4) (i.e. on exchange of contracts). Subject to this requirement, a relevant disposal is entered into when it takes place (s 96(5)).

6LA 2011, s 95(1).

7LA 2011, s 95(2). If a local authority receives notice under s 95(2) of an owner’s wish to sell the listed land, it must cause to be entered in the list of ACV particulars of such notice and the expiry dates of the initial moratorium period, the full moratorium period and the protected period that apply as a result of the notice (s 97(2)). If the land has been listed in response to a community nomination, the authority must also give written notice to the person who made the nomination of the matters to be listed following receipt of the owner’s notice under s 95(2) (s 97(3)). The local authority is also required to publicise all of these matters in the area where the land is situated and it is for the local authority to determine how it does this (s 97(4)).

360 Restrictions on the Use of Land

36.4 Condition B is that either:

(a) the interim moratorium period has ended8without the local authority having received during that period, from any community interest group,9a written request for the group to be treated as a potential bidder in relation to the land;10or

(b) the full moratorium period has ended.11

36.5 Condition C is that the protected period has not ended.12

36.6 The moratorium provisions do not apply to those types of relevant disposals which are exempt. These exemptions are partly to be found in the LA 201113and partly in the ACV Regulations,14and are covered in paras 36.9–36.33.

36.7 In summary, a landowner may not dispose of listed land (except in those cases where the relevant disposals are exempt) until certain conditions are met.

(a) The landowner must, firstly, notify the local authority that he intends to dispose of the land with vacant possession (i.e. by way of a sale of the freehold or the grant or assignment of a lease of at least 25 years), whereupon the local authority will duly publicise the proposed sale and will inform the community group who made the nomination.

(b) If, after a period of 6 weeks beginning with the date on which the local authority receives notification from the owner of the listed land that he intends to dispose of the land (i.e. the interim moratorium period), the authority has not received any request from any community interest group that they wish to be treated as a potential bidder for the land, the owner...

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