Stratford land charges service to restart as property market begins to resume

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Worried house buyers and sellers may sleep a little easier after Stratford District Council confirmed that its land charges service will be up and running again on Monday.

The service has been out of action during the coronavirus lockdown as searches cannot be completed remotely away from the council offices and the authority is obliged to protect the health and welfare of its staff.

This has sparked concerns from those buying and selling houses in the district that the delay could see their sales could fall through.

However the council has been working hard to make its offices ‘covid-secure’ to enable staff who are unable to work remotely to return to work.

Cllr Anne Parry, portfolio holder for regulatory services, said: “I would like to apologise for the disruption to this service.  Sadly for us the situation was out of our control as COVID-19 had a direct impact on the service.

“So, understandably the welfare of our staff remained a priority at the time.  However, I would like to reassure everyone that every effort has been made to restart this service at the earliest opportunity and would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding in this matter at this difficult time.”

The district council is currently conducting a digital transformation of the land charges service costing £315,000, however the introduction of this new digital system will also be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.