Former council properties within an AONB

If you own an ex-council property in the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) there may be a legal restriction (known as a Section 157) placed on the sale or re-let of your property.  

If the restriction applies, and the property was originally bought from Cotswold District Council under the Right to Buy scheme before 28 February 1997, you will need to apply to us for consent to:

  • alter or
  • sell or re-let your property.

After 28 February 1997 we transferred our housing stock to a housing association, now known as the Bromford Group. The restrictions still apply but you will need to apply to Bromford directly for their consent. Please:

Check if your property has a Section 157 restriction

You can either check your property deeds or access the Land Registry service (fees may apply).

Apply to alter your ex council property 

You are required to obtain consent from the council if you intend to make alterations to the property. This could include planning permission, building regulations or works under permitted development.

Apply for consent to alter

Apply for consent to sell or let your ex council property

We will require you to market the property solely to local people for eight weeks before we will consider an application for consent to sell it to a person who doesn’t automatically qualify for it. This is to allow local people more time to buy or let these properties before they can be offered for sale or let in the open market.   

1. Tell your estate agent about the restriction

Details of the restriction need to be clearly advertised in the marketing details to reduce the risk of the sale falling through because the council will not give consent. For further details and wording see our:

2. Inform our Land Legal and Property Team

Once you have appointed estate agents you will need to email or write to us to let us know:

  • Your name(s)
  • The estate agent details
  • Full address of the property to be marketed
  • When the marketing will start
  • Provide a link to the marketing material online (ie. Right Move / Zoopla)
  • Details of any consents granted for works to the property


We will then advertise the property on our Former council properties for sale webpage for eight weeks.

3. Once you have a potential buyer/ tenant 

Application for consent

You do not need to wait until the end of the eight week period if your buyer or tenant has either lived and/or worked within Gloucestershire or the Cotswolds AONB continually for three years immediately prior to the proposed purchase of the property.

They will need to complete a statutory declaration which your or their solicitor signs and provide two forms of supporting evidence:

  • utility bills
  • copies of Electoral Roll 
  • council tax bills
  • letters from employer(s) confirming continuous employment in Gloucestershire.

4. If the buyer or tenant doesn’t meet the criteria

We may grant consent for the sale after the initial eight week marketing period.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road