Land Registry privatisation dropped from infrastructure bill

Land Registry privatisation dropped from infrastructure bill

It was announced during the Queens speech, in May this year, that the outcome of a consultation relating to Land Registry privatisation would be considered as part of the Neighborhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill.

Despite government sources insisting that privatisation is still to be considered, today saw the expected plans for the sell-off dropped. It appears that due to extensive opposition, the legal profession included, there will not be a quick decision from ministers on the Land Registry privatisation.

A government source said:

“No decision has been taken on the future of the Land Registry. A consultation on the Land Registry’s future closed in May and we are carefully considering our response.

“It is only right that new ministers take time to look at all their options before making a decision.”

In the wake of the consultation there was widespread opposition including Tory MP and Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Bernard Jenkin who spoke at the time stating

“While I am not opposed to the general principle of privatisation, the Land Registry must remain an essential arm of the state…”

The Law Society, who have also previously expressed serious concerns over privatisation, have welcomed the development with recently elected president Robert Bourns stating:

“All implications must be fully considered before any decision on whether to sell is made. The government previously indicated they would carefully consider the vocal feedback they have received from the legal sector and beyond on this issue, and it is pleasing to see them following through on this commitment rather than rushing to keep an arbitrary time frame.

“We look forward to a final decision that has properly addressed all these concerns, and places the public interests in this important institution first.”

An official response to the consultation is expected this autumn.

Jonathan Coyle

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