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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Land at Palace Avenue, Kensington (Acquisition of Freehold) Bill
 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

This Bill authorises the acquisition, with the agreement of the Secretary of State, of an area of land (“the demised land”) formerly part of the grounds of Kensington Palace but now the site of the north-east corner of the hotel building of the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, (“the hotel”) and of the rear boundary wall.

The freehold of the demised land is vested in the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. As the result of its status as former grounds of Kensington Palace, any disposal of the demised land is subject to section 5 of the Crown Lands Act 1702 (c.1). This provision prohibits the disposal of land to which it relates except by way of lease for a maximum of 31 years. The hotel is held as an asset of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund and the demised land is held by the trustees of the pension fund (Imperial Tobacco Pension Trustees Limited and Imperial Investments Limited (“the companies”)) under two leases, each for a term of 31 years.

Formal confirmation that the Secretary of State is prepared to sell the freehold in the demised land to the companies is expected to be given, but the sale cannot take place for so long as section 5 of the 1702 Act is applicable.

Clause 3provides that the companies may, with the agreement of the Secretary of State, acquire the freehold reversion in the demised land and an associated right over adjoining airspace. The terms of any such acquisition would be such as are agreed between the parties, and section 5 of the 1702 Act would not apply.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

William Mather, Chief Investment Officer for Imperial Tobacco Pension Trustees Limited and a director of Imperial Investments Limited, the promoters of the Bill, has made the following statement on behalf of the companies:

In my view, the provisions of the Land at Palace Avenue, Kensington (Acquisition of Freehold) Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.


 
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Prepared 29 November 2001