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Panel calls for quicker public land disposal

Thu 20th December 2012, 10:37 am

A government-commissioned report has called for a simplified disposal process for public sector land to provide new homes.

Housing: report outlines new method of public land disposal

The expert advisory panel, led by Berkeley Group chair Tony Pidgley, said that surplus land should be offered to developers on a two-year peppercorn option. The developer would be under obligation to secure planning permission within that time, which the panel said would transfer planning risk to the private sector early in the process.

Pidgley said: “What it needs is a simple system to dispose of the available land alongside investment in infrastructure, and then the private sector can shoulder the risk, paying back the funding and land value to government once the homes are built.

"If statutory consultees step up to the mark and give their advice in a timely and constructive manner, and everyone shows a common commitment, we can create some fantastic new places fast, with huge dividends in terms of homes, jobs, and GDP".

The report also said that the government should require all public sector landowners with surplus sites to create a 'plan for sale', accompanied by a clear, strict and disciplined tender timetable.

It said: “The government should consider providing incentives and sanctions to ensure these sites are disposed of in an efficient, clear, transparent and speedy way.”

The report also identified 18 sites with the potential to deliver 23,000 new homes.

- The next Sitematch London event, which will allow developers to discuss surplus sites in the capital, will take place on 5 March 2012. More details

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