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Chancel Repair Liability – Bill for Abolition Introduced to Lords
Following changes to the Chancel repair liability, requiring Parochial church councils (PCC’s) to effect registration with the Land Registry by October 2013, Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Avebury has brought forward the Chancel Repairs Bill for its first reading in the House of Lords.
The proposed legislation seeks to ‘end the liability of lay rectors for the repair of chancels’ – abolishing the demands for landowners to fund repairs to their parish church. Campaigners have been vocal in their objection to the liability, which their claim has a significant adverse effect on property prices and house sales in an area where a liability has been registered, whether or not the liability has been enforced by the church.
The private members’ bill applies only to England, as it is believed to be a devolved matter.
The Law Commission and the Law Society are among the groups that have recommended abolition or phasing out of chancel repair rights in the past.