The official consultation on how the Government intends to compile a dataset of who exercises contractual control over land in England & Wales has been published-  Contractual controls on land: consultation - GOV.UK (

In some ways the revised proposals disclosed by the consultation are better than was feared given the suggestions made in the 2020 call for evidence. But the rules are proposed to apply retrospectively to agreements entered into after 6 April 2021.  Within scope are real estate options, rights of pre-emption or conditional contracts lasting for 12 months or longer which are granted to an ‘undertaking’ and which provide for, or restrict, the sale or lease (for 7+ years) of the land.  The proposed implementation date is 6 April 2026.

The closing date for the consultation is 20 March 2024.  It will be of interest to those engaged in sectors such as the built environment or renewable energy, where options for purchase or lease, conditional contracts, rights of pre-emption or promotion agreements are common.