The UK Property Industry has welcomed news that the government will this month publish guidelines on a 2007 EU ruling that caused more than 70 UK schemes to be put on hold.
After a year of lobbying from the British Property Federation, the Office of Government Commerce will finally make it clear that the ruling, which involved a leisure centre in Roanne, France, only applies when public money is being spent, or when a partner is being sought to develop public sector facilities.
It was interpreted to mean that local authorities should put all schemes out to competitive tender through the Official Journal of the EU.
Richard Ford head of planning at international law firm Pinsent Masons said: "The long awaited Roanne guidance will be very welcome for a number of development projects involving public sector assets. The uncertainty on whether you need to follow the OJEU procedure or not has caused both public authorities and developers too many sleepless nights, and a lot of cost. The issue is complex but we have been engaging with key stakeholders on the guidance and anticipate that it will provide clarity."
Bruce Owen head of regeneration at Gerald Eve said: "The delivery of effective regeneration is frequently dependent upon the public sector's ability to act decisively and with conviction. If the guidance removes some of the current fog around public sector procurement and partnering procedures it will be welcomed."
A spokesman for Land Securities said: "We welcome the fact there will be more clarity, something needed more than ever in the current market."
Source: Brown Lloyd James Financial