Gift to charity - covenant against alienation - void?

I am advising on a will that leaves a gift of land to a charity, purportedly on condition that the charity covenants never to sell the land for development. I had rather thought that the restriction on alienation would be void, but wonder if the fact that the donee is a charity would make any difference. I can’t see any particular authority and would be grateful to hear any views

Helen Newson
Andrew & Co LLP

Generally speaking, charities are now able to spend permanently endowed property however there are a few exceptions and in those cases then Charity Commission permission is required. Is the gift in your case intended as a functional endowment - i.e one that would help the charity meets its purpose? If so, then it may be allowable but if the charity wished to sell it in the future then (currently) it would not be able to do so without the Charity Commission’s approval.

Jacqui Lazare
Withy King LLP