The Property Hub

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The Property team headed by Helen Sewter has extensive knowledge and experience across a wide range of issues that come only with local authority property ownership.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Land and property acquisitions, including use of compulsory purchase powers.
  • Sale of land, including options, development agreements, conditional contracts and sales by auction.
  • Overage/uplift arrangements.
  • Development agreements (particularly associated with preparation of land for development prior to sale).
  • Preparing reports on title.
  • Granting and receiving easements and wayleaves.
  • Commercial leases (including 1954 Act exclusions)
  • Licences to occupy.
  • Tenancies at will

As owner of over 1% of the total land in Gloucestershire, GCC’s land interest comes in all shapes and sizes and are subject to a number peculiarities that come only with local authority land ownership.

Sales of land can vary from large scale development sites subject to development agreements or options to disposal of small areas of amenity land.  Sometimes sales require something much more than a straightforward sale contract: this could be an option agreement or a contract that is conditional on planning consent, and we are happy to advise on the alternatives to find the best way to proceed with a disposal.  Quite often we will be asked to protect GCC’s interest in the future development value of land that it sells through overage or uplift provisions.  And always we have to have in mind the statutory requirements of disposing of local authority land, such as under the Local Government Act 1972 or the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

Land or property needs to be purchased for a variety of reasons: road schemes, new schools, park and ride facilities, fire stations.  Purchases can be by agreement or using statutory powers to make a compulsory purchase order, and can often require close working with both our colleagues in AMPS and directly with relevant client departments. We have experience in dealing with all aspects of CPOs, including making and publishing orders, supporting at public inquiry, serving of notices, making general vesting declarations, etc., but also in advising on compensation issues and making compensation payments.

GCC’s extensive property portfolio requires close management and gives rise to the grant of leases, tenancies at will, hot-desking agreements and licences to occupy.  Examples are for office space for partner organisations, academy school conversions and nursery/playgroup leases.  We will always act to protect GCC’s interest as far as possible.

We are also happy to advise on matters relating to GCC’s extensive rural estate, and the grant and/or receipt of easements and wayleaves.

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