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Land Register

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many staff are currently employed in his Department to manage the register of vacant and derelict public land; and what is the annual cost in each of the last five years.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1987, c. 244]: Maintenance of the registers of unused and underused land owned by public bodies involves the following tasks:

  • (a) entering new sites on the registers and removing sites as they are brought into use or sold, including keeping the computerised database up to date;
  • (b) discussing with owning bodies their own plans for using sites on the registers to establish whether directed disposals might be appropriate;
  • (c) considering requests from members of the public for land to be entered on the registers and for the Secretary of State to use his power to direct disposal of land that is entered on the register;
  • (d) issuing notices of proposed directions under section 99 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980; considering representations from land owners;
  • (e) sending out directions to dispose of land under section 98 of the Act; monitoring progress towards disposal; taking legal proceedings to enforce compliance where necessary;
  • (f) making the registers available for inspection by the public, including interrogation of the computerised database.
  • This work is combined with other duties by staff working in 11 locations around the country: the equivalent of 19 full-time staff are currently so employed. The basic staff cost for 1986–87 is estimated to be £297,000; for 1985–86 it was estimated to be £268,000. The staff costs attributable to this work in earlier years were not separately identified.