Public Sector Property

31.03.16

EXCLUSIVE: Public land disposal scheme leads to just 6 sales

A scheme to reduce government estate by allowing members of the public to request surplus government-owned land to be put up for sale has led to just six sales since it was introduced in January 2014, FoI requests by PSE show.

The Right to Contest is a scheme which allows businesses, local authorities and members of the public to challenge the government about land they own which is potentially surplus or redundant or could be put to better economic use.

The Cabinet Office has received 19 Strand One Right to Contest applications, which apply to central government-owned land, of which five have led to land being declared wholly or partially surplus.

Strand Two applications, made to the Department of Communities and Local Government for local land and property, have resulted in just one successful ‘direction to dispose’ out of 70 applications, for land north east of Knight’s Lane, Tiddington, under the Stratford-on-Avon local authority.

Of the other cases, 35 had direct disposal refused, 17 were decided ‘other’ for reasons such as the land being privately owned, the case being transferred to the Cabinet Office and the case being put on review for 3-6 months. Thirteen cases are still live and four were withdrawn.

Among the Strand One applications, the remaining 14 sites were deemed essential to operations or the application was declared out of scope. These include an apparent joke application for ‘the whole of the UK’ to be deemed surplus.

The five national government sites that were declared surplus are part of Dulwich Hospital, Kenmore Clinic in Harrow, land at Canada Docks in Liverpool and Ministry of Justice properties at Peace Mills Site in Nottingham and Kirklevington Grange Prison in Cleveland.

At the launch of the State of the Estate in 2014-15 report, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said that the government had set a target of reducing its offices by 75% in order to cut the government deficit before 2023 and urged members of the public to get involved using the scheme.

A government spokesman said: “The Housing and Planning Bill aims to increase the transparency and accountability of local authority land holdings, making it easier for the public to identify surplus land.”

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of community organisations network Locality, wrote for the most recent edition of PSE about the Housing and Planning Bill.

(Image c. Clive Gee from PA Images.)

Comments

Craig Harrison   02/06/2016 at 12:55

I completed a "right to contest" application for surplus land on the HMP Kirklevington Grange site and got fobbed off with some story about only selling the entire plot as opposed to manageable packages, apparently the whole plot was being put on the market early in 2016.....we're now almost halfway through the year and nothing

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Five things you didn’t know about the Northern Powerhouse

26/06/2019Five things you didn’t know about the Northern Powerhouse

It’s five years this week since George Osborne gave a speech calling for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the project is fully under... more >
Harlow Council collects top fleet safety honour at RoSPA Awards

26/06/2019Harlow Council collects top fleet safety honour at RoSPA Awards

Harlow Council’s housing repairs and maintenance, facilities management and environmental services company has won the Fleet Safety Trophy ... more >
Prime Minister speaks out against construction of "tiny homes"

26/06/2019Prime Minister speaks out against construction of "tiny homes"

The Prime Minister has called for new design standards to ensure high-quality homes and further rights for tenants. Theresa May will use her... more >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >

public sector focus

View all News
Five things you didn’t know about the Northern Powerhouse

26/06/2019Five things you didn’t know about the Northern Powerhouse

It’s five years this week since George Osborne gave a speech calling for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the project is fully underway. It has evolved from a political buzzword... more >
Harlow Council collects top fleet safety honour at RoSPA Awards

26/06/2019Harlow Council collects top fleet safety honour at RoSPA Awards

Harlow Council’s housing repairs and maintenance, facilities management and environmental services company has won the Fleet Safety Trophy at the RoSPA Fleet Safety Awards 2019. HTS (P... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >