Laura Sharman 21 August 2014

Online map will challenge government on inefficient property

An online tool to help communities decide if government property and land is being used effectively has gone live.

The Government Property Finder shows the locations of all public property so communities can decide if they wish to challenge its use under the Right to Contest.

The new legislation allows members of the public to request the government releases sites if they are vacant or underused. Departments can only refuse to release a site if they can demonstrate it is vital for operational purposes or that alternative considerations outweigh the potential for better economic use.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: ‘As part of our long-term plan for a stronger economy we are slashing our own costs and getting the most out the property we own. Since the 2010 general election we have got out of 1,250 properties, but we need to do more.

‘We want the public to use this new map and the Right to Contest to challenge us to release properties we are not using efficiently enough to cut the deficit, support growth and provide more houses.’

The Government said figure show the size of running the public property estate has reduced by £647m since 2009, with 1,250 buildings vacated since 2010.

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