Corporate & Community Services Cabinet Member – Minutes – 26 March 2012

22  (22)  REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LOCAL LAND CHARGES SERVICE AND LEGAL SERVICES CHARGING POLICY – The Director of Corporate and Community Services submitted a report seeking to review the performance of the Local Land Charges Service and amend the charges made by Local Land Charges and Legal Services.

An urgent decision was requested to ensure that sufficient notification be given to implement the new charges as from 1 April 2012.

It was explained that the charges were calculated on a cost recovery basis only, and reflected the fluctuations in ‘in house’ and private searches. 

The year to date had demonstrated an increase in the number of ‘in house’ searches compared with the previous year, however due to the economic climate this remained well below the number of searches that had been completed in 2006/2007 and personal searches remained significantly less than previous years.

The revised amounts had been calculated in accordance with the formula set under the 2008 Charging Regulations which sought to apply a cost recovery charging basis. It was recognised that those fees relating to the personal search for Con 29 (Required & Optional) information may be waived by the charging department on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the provisions of The Environmental Information Regulations.

Details of all the fees and charges were outlined in Appendix 1 to the report.

Resolved(a) That the local land charge fee structure as set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report be implemented with effect from 1 April 2012 and be kept under review; (b) that the legal fees be increased and adopted, as proposed in the appendix to the report with effect from 1 April 2012, and (c) that the action in paragraph 5.3 of the report be completed and implemented.