William Eichler 02 May 2019

Whitehall to miss target to release enough land for 160,000 homes

Whitehall to miss target to release enough land for 160,000 homes image

The Government is unlikely to reach its 2020 target to release sufficient public sector land to build 160,000 homes, auditors warn.

A National Audit Office estimates that by 2020 enough land for only 65,000 homes is likely to have been released by Government departments, which is only 41% of the 160,000 target.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government reported to the NAO that by December 2018, land with a capacity for 38,166 homes had been released.

At this rate, the MHCLG estimates that it will only reach the 160,000 target after 2025.

The MHCLG identified a number of factors that prevent the Government reaching its 160,000 target, including the fact that public bodies might still be using land to provide services and that sales of large, complex sites are sometimes delayed due to planning issues.

The National Audit Office’s report also found that the Government expects to achieve its target to raise £5bn in proceeds by selling land and property by March 2020.

It found that two transactions were responsible for more than £1.8bn and that between April 2015 and March 2018, the programme had generated £2.48bn in proceeds.

The NAO’s analysis shows that of the 1,500 sites sold between April 2015 and March 2018, 176 (12%) were sold for £1 or less.

The main reasons given for the low prices of these sales related to the costs the buyers would incur, the fact that they were narrow strips of land which had no other use, and the fact that the land had contractual conditions attached.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Income Recovery Assistant

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,344 - £23,836 per annum
We are interested to hear from applicants who can demonstrate the following... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Occupational Therapist or Senior Social Worker

Essex County Council
£39168 - £47405 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Workers

City of York Council
Various
We are keen to enable our social workers to develop their knowledge and skills to secure the best outcomes for... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Junior Software Developer / Analyst Programmer

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,945
This is a fantastic opportunity for you if you have an interest in and talent for software development and are looking for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Income Recovery Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
You will be a key player in ensuring prompt and effective early action is taken to control and recover outstanding arrears to eviction stage.    Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue