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Our panel of experts, Adrian Barlow, Helen Turner, Eddie Goldsmith, Nicola Preston and Paul Coombes gives its view on the impact of the updated CON 29 and CON 290 enquiry forms and the significance of the inclusion of community value and the community infrastructure levy (CIL), and the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.
Is it likely that turnaround times for responses will be longer, and if so could that delay property transactions?
Adrian Barlow: The new CON 29 and CON 29O are a necessary evolution of the enquiries we need to make. The additional enquiries might impact on turnaround times and that could delay property transactions, but I suspect in the vast majority of cases they won't. For public rights of way, for example, it's an enquiry we'd been making anyway. There will continue to be times when waiting for search results delays transactions but I doubt this will be the norm.
There could be an impact on the amount of due diligence property lawyers need to undertake, though. The new enquiry on rail projects asks only if there are any projects within the local authority's boundary. Geographically, that could be quite a wide area. A positive answer will need further investigation even though the project may be quite remote from the property.
Helen Turner: Following review of the proposed CON 29 and CON 290 forms, for councils it does appear that the amended search questions will require more input from officers around the local authority than is currently required in order to turn round the searches. The questions that will require specific input will be the questions relating to assets of community value (ACVs) and CIL.
As required by the Localism Act 2011, local land charges hold the information as to when the ACV was registered, but the additional questions raised will require further and specific officer input. I am currently unaware of any
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