Communities Secretary Greg Clark has urged Whitehall departments to release leftover and unused land and property for new homes.
Clark says that departments must “loosen their grip” on sites that could be used for house building. He has set a target of 150,000 homes built on redundant land by 2020. This is equivalent to the amount of houses in Wakefield.
He also asks England’s 326 councils to look at the “significant” land assets they hold and use some of these plots, especially brownfield land, for new builds.
He explains: “The chance to own your own home should be available to everyone who works hard and aspires to. That is what a government for working people is about – making sure people have the security they need to build a brighter future for them and their families.”1
The new local government transparency code requires councils to publish their property and asset registers.
Government accounts reveal that in 2011, councils held £223 billion of assets, £108 billion of which was in land and property.
The Housing Bill, outlined in the Queen’s Speech, obliges local authorities to create and maintain a register of brownfield land that is suitable for housing development, including their own land.