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Housing: Construction

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the location is of each of the 550 sites owned by central Government being examined for housing development. (153714)

Information about all non-operational public sector sites declared surplus to requirements is available via the Register for Surplus Public Sector Land.

The Register is managed by English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency. Government Accounting rules require all Government Departments and their sponsored bodies to place sites declared surplus to requirements on the Register for a minimum of 40 working days, to test whether there is interest from other public sector bodies before disposal and release of information into the public domain and to the private market. However, Departments or their sponsored bodies may remove sites from the Register if they change their assessment and decide that the asset is no longer surplus.

Every three months English Partnerships publishes details from the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land of all sites that have been registered for 40 days or more. This latest list is available from their website at:

http://www.englishpartnerships.co.uk/rspsl.htm

The 550 surplus public sector land sites referred to in the Housing Green Paper are spread across England: 37 per cent. of the sites are in London and the South, 36 per cent. in the Midlands and 27 per cent. in the North. Since the publication of the Green Paper a further 200 sites have been identified that are potentially surplus and which may be suitable for housing. The spread is now 40 per cent. in London and the South, 34 per cent. in the Midlands and East of England and 26 per cent. in the North.

English Partnerships are actively working with the Government Departments concerned to assess the potential for all these sites for housing development. In due course details of specific sites that are surplus will appear on the Register in the normal way, but for reasons of commercial or operational sensitivity site details are not being released in advance.