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Boost for housing as government puts hundreds of acres of land up for sale

Six hundred acres of surplus public land up for sale to deliver new homes and boost local growth.

The government has today announced details of 600 acres of surplus public sector land as part of plans to deliver thousands of new homes and local growth.

Developers are being urged to seize the opportunity, after Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said it was proof that the government is getting the country building again. The government has now embarked on the largest housing building programme since the 1970s, as it looks to deliver a million new homes, 160,000 of them through the sale of surplus sector land.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has more than 80 public land sites for sale and a further 40 sites will be brought to market over the next 18 months, providing a boost to local economies and a significant return to the taxpayer.

The new sites will support around 5,000 new homes as well as land for industry and business.

Over 20% of the sites already have outline or detailed planning permission.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Using surplus public sector land for housing has helped us get the country building again with the number of new homes up by 25%.

“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.

“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.”

The HCA is the government’s disposal agency for surplus public land, and using its local market knowledge, commercial expertise and experience of managing large portfolios of land, exceeded its contribution to the government’s last land programme by more than 3,000 homes.

Chief Executive of the HCA, Andy Rose, said: “We will use our commercial expertise and local market knowledge to make land attractive to house builders, to help get homes built more quickly and meet local priorities.

“As the government’s disposal agency for surplus public land, we are well placed to support other departments and agencies in meeting their contribution to the government’s land programme”.

The Land Development and Disposal Plan published today also sets out some key principles of land disposal, which followed a review of the HCA’s processes and were developed in cooperation with the Home Builders Federation and its members.

These include clearer objectives for each site prior to sale, early and meaningful market engagement with a transparent pipeline of sites and clearer commercial terms.