Duration of PCC lettings and leases

Alan Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Pembrokeshire County Council

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Dear Pembrokeshire Council,

I recently requested information about council lettings and leases using the “whatdotheyknow” website. My request can be ford here, https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i.... Unfortunately it is not available on your own website at https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/freedom... as there has been insufficient time to update it.

I have reviewed the second spreadsheet that you provided in answer to that enquiry and find that I now have several questions about the contents.

I see that one lease has an agreement commencement date of 1974 and a duration of 999 years. A second lease has an agreement start date of 2004 and very odd duration of 969 years. Both expire in the year 2973. Can you explain why such unprecedented and exceptionally long durations were given and why, in the case of the more recent one, why such an odd period?

The information you provided shews that 6 leases have expired. One in 1994, one in 2013, one in 2015, one in 2016 and two in 2017. What arrangements are in place given that the sites are still in use. As indicated by the dates, some for a considerable period?

Why do PCC store details of expired leases? As an example one, reference LS0087, expired 20 years ago. It seems to me that if this was taken up again the current circumstances would warrant very different terms.

Can other organisations or groups apply to take over expired lease sites or apply for new leases on those sites?

Yours faithfully,

Alan Taylor

Freedom Of Information, Pembrokeshire County Council

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Dear Alan Taylor,

Thank you for your email. We have received the following information from our Property department:

1. Ground leases for terms of 999 years are very common. This is because the tenant of the ground lease constructs any buildings on the site themselves. This is a considerable financial investment for the tenant and a long lease gives them fair and reasonable security that their investment is protected.
By leasing the land rather than selling it, the Council landlords retains control over the land.
The 969 year lease is supplemental to the 999 year lease and the areas of land they relate to adjoin. The leases will expire on the same day although they commenced on different days. This is the reason for the different terms.

2. When a lease expires, the tenant has the right to hold over under the terms of that lease until is new agreement is negotiated by the tenant and the landlord. The tenant remains in occupation and continues to pay rent etc as outlined in the lease.
So although the agreements are time expired, they are still in place and this is why the details of the tenancies are kept on the Council's systems. All 6 expired leases are being renewed.
It is not possible for other organisations to take over sites where a lease has expired where the existing tenant is holding over. If a site becomes vacant because a tenant does not wish to renew their lease, or surrenders their lease before the term expires, then the vacant site will be advertised on the Council's website.

Kind regards,


Katy Holman
Information Governance & Freedom of Information Officer /
Swyddog Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Rhyddid Gwybodaeth

Pembrokeshire County Council / Cyngor Sir Benfro
County Hall / Neuadd y Sir
Haverfordwest / Hwlffordd
SA61 1TP

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Dear Katy Holman,

Thank you for clarifying the situation.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Taylor