§ Mr. David Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the enfranchisement of residential long leases held from the Crown.
§ Sir George Young
The various Crown authorities will, in most cases, agree to the voluntary enfranchisement or extension of long leases, under the same qualifications and terms as will apply under statute—the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Housing and Urban Development Bill if enacted—to leaseholders whose landlord is not the Crown.
Enfranchisement of property which would otherwise qualify will however be refused where the land is inalienable or in certain circumstances specific to the Crown. These circumstances are: 20W
- (i) where the property or the area in which it is situated has a long, historic or particular association with the Crown (including parts of the Isles of Scilly and central Dartmoor);
- (ii) were the property is within (or intimately connected with) the historic Royal Palaces and Parks (including properties adjacent to Regents Park); or
- (iii) where there are special security considerations.
When enfranchisement is refused on these grounds, the Crown will be prepared to negotiate new leases.
Additionally the Crown will be eligible to apply for and operate schemes of estate management, and will be prepared to be bound by arbitration on disputes over the terms of (a) enfranchisement, or (b) the grant of new leases by analogy with the statutes.
This undertaking supersedes that given by my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Housing on 31 May 1967, at column 42.