135 Programmes for disposals.E+W
(1)For the purposes of this section a disposal of one or more dwelling-houses by a local authority to any person (in this section referred to as a “disposal”) is a qualifying disposal if—
(a)it requires the consent of the Secretary of State under section 32 of the 1985 Act (power to dispose of land held for the purposes of Part II), or section 43 of that Act (consent required for certain disposals not within section 32); and
(b)the aggregate of the following, namely—
(i)the number of dwelling-houses included in the disposal; and
(ii)the number of dwelling-houses which, within the relevant period, have been previously disposed of by the authority to that person, or that person and any associates of his taken together,
exceeds 499 or, if the Secretary of State by order so provides, such other number as may be specified in the order.
(2)In subsection (1) “the relevant period” means—
(a)the period of five years ending with the date of the disposal or, if that period begins before the commencement of this section, so much of it as falls after that commencement; or
(b)if the Secretary of State by order so provides, such other period ending with that date and beginning after that commencement as may be specified in the order.
[F1(2A)The Secretary of State may prepare a disposals programme for any financial year.]
[F3(3A)Where the Secretary of State has included a disposal in a disposals programme for a financial year, a local authority may make a qualifying disposal under that programme in that or the following financial year.]
(4)A disposal may be included in a disposals programme for a financial year either—
(a)by specifically including the disposal in the programme; or
(b)by including in the programme a description of disposal which includes the disposal.
(5)An application by a local authority for the inclusion of a disposal in a disposals programme for a financial year—
(a)shall be made in such manner and contain such information; and
(b)shall be made before such date,
as the Secretary of State may from time to time direct.
(6)In preparing a disposals programme for any financial year, the Secretary of State shall secure that the aggregate amount of his estimate of the exchequer costs of each of the disposals included in the programme does not exceed such amount as he may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.
(7)In deciding whether to include a disposal in a disposals programme for a financial year or, having regard to subsection (6), which disposals to include in such a programme, the Secretary of State may, in relation to the disposal or (as the case may be) each disposal, have regard in particular to—
(a)his estimate of the exchequer costs of the disposal;
(b)whether or not a majority of the secure tenants [F4and introductory tenants] who would be affected by the disposal are (in his opinion) likely to oppose it; and
(c)the matters mentioned in section 34(4A) or 43(4A) (as the case may be) of the 1985 Act;
and in this subsection “secure tenant” has the same meaning as in Part IV of that Act [F4and “introductory tenant” has the same meaning as in Chapter I of Part V of the Housing Act 1996].
(8)In subsections (6) and (7) “the exchequer costs”, in relation to a disposal, means any increase which is or may be attributable to the disposal in the aggregate of any subsidies payable under—
(b)section 79 of the 1989 Act (Housing Revenue Account subsidy);
and the Secretary of State’s estimate of any such increase shall be based on such assumptions (including assumptions as to the period during which such subsidies may be payable) as he may, with the approval of the Treasury, from time to time determine, regardless of whether those assumptions are or are likely to be borne out by events.
(9)The inclusion of a disposal in a disposals programme for a financial year shall not prejudice the operation of section 32 or 43 of the 1985 Act in relation to the disposal.
(10)The Secretary of State may prepare different disposals programmes under this section for different descriptions of authority; and any disposals programme may be varied or revoked by a subsequent programme.
(11)An order under this section—
(a)shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament;
(b)may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of case, or for different authorities or descriptions of authority; and
(c)may contain such transitional and supplementary provisions as the Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient.
(12)Any direction or determination under this section—
(a)may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of case, or for different authorities or descriptions of authority; and
(b)may be varied or revoked by a subsequent direction or determination.
(13)In this section—
“the 1989 Act” means the M2Local Government and Housing Act 1989;
“dwelling-house” has the same meaning as in Part V of the 1985 Act except that it does not include a hostel (as defined in section 622 of that Act) or any part of a hostel;
“” has the meaning given by section 4 of that Act;
“long lease” means a lease for a term of years certain exceeding 21 years other than a lease which is terminable before the end of that term by notice given by or to the landlord;
[F6“subsidiary” has the same meaning as in section 61 of the Housing Act 1996 but as if the references in subsection (2) of that section and section 60 of that Act to registered social landlords and landlords were references to housing associations (within the meaning of the M3Housing Associations Act 1985).]
(14)For the purposes of this section—
(a)a disposal of any dwelling-house shall be disregarded if at the time of the disposal the local authority’s interest in the dwelling-house is or was subject to a long lease;
(b)two persons are associates of each other if—
(i)one of them is a subsidiary of the other;
(ii)they are both subsidiaries of some other person; or
(iii)there exists between them such relationship or other connection as may be specified in a determination made by the Secretary of State; and
(c)a description of authority may be framed by reference to any circumstances whatever.