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Agency shifts focus to marketing surplus land

Wed 11th July 2012, 10:19 am

The government's regeneration quango will spend the next year getting surplus land owned by departments ready to be sold, it says.

Pat Ritchie: Chief executive of Homes and Communities Agency

The Homes and Communities Agency said that its focus would now shift to unlocking barriers to delivery of the land, which the government claims could deliver 102,000 new homes.

The agency outlined its aim in its updated corporate plan, which will guide its work up to 2015, which said: "We will work with the relevant landowners and provide support to tackle potential barriers to delivery, in order to unlock the sites as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"This includes using the HCA’s tools and services (such as the advisory team for large applications (ATLAS), and the 'build now, pay later' model."

It said that the agency's experience in land management meant it was able to make links between central government landowners, local authorities and private developers.

"This includes the potential for joint working between public sector landowners to optimise the mix of uses and to get the best deal for the public sector as a whole," it said.

The agency also said that it had worked with a number of local authorities and public bodies to map all publicly owned assets in their areas, for example in areas of Durham and Wigan.

HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “This plan sets a clear direction for the HCA, taking stock of our evolving role over the last year coupled with the government’s ambitions set out in the housing strategy.

"We have set solid foundations this year, working with our partners to boost housing supply and economic growth, and we will continue to focus on delivery in the months ahead."

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