Housing minister Grant Shapps yesterday unveiled plans to release £10bn of government land for house-building.
The Government estimates that the total land to be sold off will represent an area twice the size of Leicester, sufficient to build 100,000 new homes. The plan to compel all Whitehall departments to release Government land was first announced in the last Budget.
Local authorities across the country are also being urged to join in the great sell-off.
Later this year the Government will produce a map and national register to show land and buildings owned by public bodies in each region.
“As one of the country’s biggest landlords, the government has a critical role to play in making sites available for developers so we can get the homes this country needs built,” Shapps said.
Three sites have already been made available, with a team of property specialists due to check every department’s plans and put forward further land that is suitable for housing developments.
A former hospital in Fairmile, Oxfordshire, a 57-acre plot in Vauxhall, London and offices previously used by the Ministry of Defence are the first locations to be put forward under the scheme.
A lack of viable land with planning permission has long been one of the major constraints on housing supply. Last year, just over 100,000 new homes were built in England – the lowest since 1923 – against a requirement of at least 232,000.