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New powers to shed £5bn of public land

The government is to shed “at least £5bn” of public land and property to support growth

Central government sales since May 2010 are over £6bn, which Westminster says is enough to build 47,000 homes.

Several policy changes are being instigated to help meet this target, including a right to contest, giving local communities and businesses the right to challenge the government to release potentially redundnant land.

Landholders will have to prove where sites cannot be sold because they are vital.

A new Strategic Land Review will also invite input from industry and local authorities to identify surplus land.

Disposals are also to be centralized in the Homes and Communities Agency, to ensure efficient release, while the Shareholder Executive and Government Property Unit will have greater roles in holding departments to account.

New incentives are also to be offered by central government departments, such as flexibility on when departments can spend asset sale funds.

Further detail, including how the target will be split between the GPU, HCA and ShEx, will be revealed at the Autumn Statement 2013.

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