By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.

A Labour MP says the economy of his constituency could grind to a halt unless urgent action is taken to reduce local property search waiting times.

Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, says the typical time it takes for a local search by the local city council - which is also Labour controlled - is now around eight weeks; as recently as early spring it took an average of just five days.

All local authorities are usually required to undertake a land charges search before a sale to find out if any restrictions or charges exist on the property.

I completely understand that all local authorities are under serious financial pressure. But delays in completing land searches can have a damaging effect on the local economy, slowing down buying and selling - the wheels of exchange that keep the economy moving says Bradshaw, who says he has received many complaints about the problem.

Over the summer one of the city's leading agencies, Wilkinson Grant, highlighted the problem extensively through the local media.

Earlier in this summer I was assured this was being addressed, but the latest figures are showing a rise rather than a fall in the back-log. This is very worrying and should be an absolute priority for the council to address Bradshaw insists.

In adjoining councils such as Mid Devon, Teignbridge and East Devon, the delays are reported to be only two to seven days.

An Exeter council statement says: We are aware of the situation and would like to apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced by the delays, which are unacceptable. Because of this, we have deployed extra resources to cope with the workload, but this will take time to have a significant effect, as staff need to be trained. Subsequently we are looking at other initiatives to deal with the problem and are keeping local agents and solicitors up-to-date with progress.


MovePal MovePal MovePal