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 Thirteen cases are still live and four were withdrawn.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

Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

22/09/2017Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

Councils are failing to meet their obligations to prevent, reduce or delay the need for care as set out in the Care Act 2014. New research p... more >
Cheshire East faces police probe over tampering of air quality data

22/09/2017Cheshire East faces police probe over tampering of air quality data

Cheshire East Council is to be investigated by police following allegations that air quality data collected by the local authority had been delib... more >
Birmingham bin strikes called off following key High Court ruling

21/09/2017Birmingham bin strikes called off following key High Court ruling

Strikes by refuse workers in Birmingham have this week been called off after the union won an important High Court ruling. Unite has called ... more >

comment

Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider lessons of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire and what measures and assess... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), talks to PSE about the importance of moving to the ... more >
Effective leadership in uncertain times

04/09/2017Effective leadership in uncertain times

Dr David Beech, lecturer in people management at Salford Business School, argues that continuous renewal and progress is fundamental to effective... more >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides ... read more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >

public sector focus

View all News
Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

22/09/2017Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

Councils are failing to meet their obligations to prevent, reduce or delay the need for care as set out in the Care Act 2014. New research published by the Red Cross called ‘Prevention... more >
Cheshire East faces police probe over tampering of air quality data

22/09/2017Cheshire East faces police probe over tampering of air quality data

Cheshire East Council is to be investigated by police following allegations that air quality data collected by the local authority had been deliberately altered.   Back in August, the o... more >

the raven's daily blog

How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18/09/2017How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislation’s introduction. The Social Value Act was an important landmark. It decisively addressed the need for major public projects led by all public bodies to maxim... 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 >