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Warning to landowners over ammendments to Planning Act


Leading legal, financial and property specialists Pagan Osborne has issued a warning to landowners following recent amendments to the laws governing planning regulations.

The updates are to section 75 which deals with planning obligations and good neighbour agreements.

Of particular note, warns Gillian Gibbons a solicitor in the rural and estates team at Pagan Osborne, is section 75C which deals with planning obligations. Now, under the amended act, landowners who enter into these Section 75 Agreements will continue to be liable for the performance of the obligations, which can be substantial, even if they sell the property. This means that if the new owner fails to deliver on these agreements, the previous owner will be liable to fulfil the obligation.

Gillian said:

It is really important for landowners and those who deal with Section 75 Agreements to be aware that these changes have come into force and to fully understand the potentially long-term implications of entering into such agreements, especially if you plan to sell the property with planning permission to a developer. You can try to minimise future liability by carefully drafting such provisions into the Section 75 Agreement.

Another section of the Act establishes circumstances where planning obligations can be modified or discharged.The amendments also include the formal introduction of good neighbourhood agreements. These are voluntary agreements between, for instance, the developer and a community body to keep them updated on progress of the development.

The reformed act also incorporates the much welcome right of appeal to Scottish Ministers.

Gillian added:

This is a very important piece of legislation for landowners and brings some welcome changes. However, it highlights the importance of landowners understanding what they are tying themselves into to avoid any unwanted and unexpected liabilities.

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