----- Original Message -----
From: Keith Kennaugh
To: UK Tree Care
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2007 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: Legal Definition
You might want to look at the Perpetuities and Accumulations act 1964.
For most things it places a maximum limit of 80 years.
SC replies: My limited understanding of this use of "perpetuities" is that
it relates to interests in property and rents and debts which would be
related to typical human lives. Perpetuities are distinguished from
When single individual A owns property, ulitimately by some grant from the
sovereign, and A dies, the interest in that property goes to A's statutory
heirs (typically a spouse or maybe offspring) or to whomever is specified in
a will. If A dies without a will (intestate), A's property may revert to the
sovereign (or be subject to some probate or other court prodceeding). In any
case, A's interest terminates on A's death.
Corporations, by contrast to individuals, have perpetual lives.
Governments, like LAs, may also have perpetual lives, but that's my
It is not at all clear to me that land use regulations like planning
permissions or TPOs have a limited life unless that is specified in the
creating instrument. I think they may well be perpetual. When A dies,
surviving spouse or any other inheritor is eqally bound by the regulation.
If A, while living, transfers the property interest to Z, the regulation
remains in place (runs with the land) and binds Z.
Now, when we get to "public goods" like trees or urban forests (or roads,
dames, powerplants or other infrastructure), which have long live lives that
span generations i) the intent of perpetual regulations or funding
arrangements is very sensible and ii) there is a whole body of literature
suggesting that our decisons may be very different. Colin Price has written
quite clearly in the failure (or at least flaws) of conventional cost-benefit
analysis and discounting over long terms. The concept of intergenerational
equity is introduced here. Jon H. is putting the finishing touches on a
discounting paper, BTW :)
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