Government sells public land to boost UK house-building

Government sells public land to boost UK house-building

The government is looking to make good on its autumn promise to build more homes across the UK, with a new announcement that it has put on sale a number of unused sites of public land to developers, with the end goal to see at least 5,000 new homes constructed. 

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has asked developers to look at the 600 or so acres of land made available on the the Homes and Communities Agency website, with more than 80 public land sites now available for purchase to those looking to build new homes. 

In the next 18 months, the government is also planning to add to this initial stock, with another 40 sites set to be added before the end of this period. 

One of the most positive aspects of the land currently going on sale for developers is that 20 per cent of the sites already have outline or detailed planning permission, meaning developers can get to work as soon as possible without any of the lengthy delays that can be associated with planning. 

It is hoped that these 120 sites will allow for the construction of at least 5,000 new homes as the government makes a bid to kickstart its plans to bring about the biggest influx of new developments seen since the 1970s. 

Should the programme of selling public land be a success, the government will look to extend it, selling off yet more public land to eventually allow for 160,000 new homes to be created across the country. 

"Using surplus public sector land for housing has helped us get the country building again with the number of new homes up by 25 per cent. Selling off these sites will allow us to go even further, delivering on our ambition to support a further 160,000 homes, while providing a significant boost to local economies and the taxpayer," said the housing minister Mr Lewis.

"I now want to see developers getting shovels in the ground as quick as possible and build the homes hard working people want and deserve," he added.