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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Council suspends 'right-to-buy'
Housing estate
The right-to-buy council houses scheme has been suspended
A Scottish local authority has voted to suspend the "right-to-buy" council houses in areas where there is a shortage of affordable rental property.

The move by South Ayrshire Council, which must now be approved by the Scottish Executive, is designed to free more council houses for rent.

If approved it will mean about 1400 homes being protected for five years.

Other councils, in particular, those in rural areas are said to be considering the decision.

Pressured area status

The move will only affect tenancies which began after 30 September 2002.

The right-to-buy policy, introduced by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, has seen tens of thousands of people in Scotland purchase their council homes.

In 2002, more than 28,000 people applied to buy their council properties under the rules.

However, some local authorities are now considering limiting the right-to-buy because of a pressure on affordable housing.

The pressured area status powers were introduced in the Scottish Executive's 2001 Housing Act.

Under the regulations, councils are exempt from right-to-buy rules for at least five years.

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