Archive for April, 2008

Do you wish to be consulted?

As we all struggle to keep up with changes and proposed changes in the law and the implications of them on the property market, numerous consultations are taking place for yet more change.

The Law Commission published on 28 March 2008, its consultation paper on proposals for change to easements, covenants and profits a prendre.  Recent Land Registry figures suggest that at least 65% of freehold titles are subject to one or more easements and 79% are subject to one or more restrictive covenants.  The Law Commission recognises that there are significant problems with the current law and believes the need for comprehensive reform is long overdue.  They aim to “modernise and simplify the law, removing anomalies, inconsistencies and unnecessary complication where they exist” and to produce a law that is “as coherent and clear as possible”.  When one considers the present law, one can only support the Commissioners in their aim.  This consultation period ends on 30 June 2008.

The Government Department for Environment Foods and Rural Affairs’ (“Defra”) consultation on the Marine Bill ends on 26 June 2008.  Whilst most of us might think that this will have minimal impact upon the individual, we could be wrong.  The Environment Agency believes proposals will better conserve fish stocks for recreational and commercial purposes.  And the at times politically charged “right to roam”, introduced under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, is proposed to extend to coastal land including the foreshore.  Whilst Defra make much of the right for families to walk, paddle and play along the entire UK coastline (see the Defra Factsheet published for individuals on the Marine Bill), one has to question whether the Department has forgotten what a dangerous place coastal lands can be and how the leisure activities of human beings can impact on biodiversity.

The Communities and Local Government Department, too, is consulting – this time in relation to proposed changes in building control.  The Department recognises that more and more burdens are being placed on building control departments (for instance in relation to carbon emissions) and perceived weaknesses in the system need to be addressed.  This consultation ends 10 June 2008.

Consultation is all around us and this newsletter does not even scratch the surface.  If you want to hear more about proposed changes in the law, why not consult with Hatherleigh Training?