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Housing: Construction

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how often her Department makes estimates of the number of new home builds; and if she will make a statement. (264994)

The Department publish quarterly information on the number of new house building starts and completions in England. The latest National Statistics release “House Building: December Quarter 2008, England” was published on 19 February 2009, and is available on the Department's website at:

New house building completions are the main component of net supply of housing, which measures the absolute change in the dwelling stock between 1 April and 31 March the following year.

Net supply to dwelling stock is published annually. The latest statistical release “Net supply of housing: 2007-08, England” was published on 27 February 2009, and is available on the Department’s website at:

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been built on land formerly owned by (a) the Ministry of Defence, (b) the National Health Service, (c) schools and (d) other government bodies in each year since 1997. (265070)

A national system for collecting information about surplus public sector land did not exist in 1997. In 2004, the Government established the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land which now requires Government Departments to register land that is to be disposed of, for any future use including housing.

However, as part of the Surplus Public Sector Land programme, the Homes and Communities Agency (previously English Partnerships) has been working with Government Departments and other bodies to collect information about land they have sold that has subsequently been used for housing. The information available does not include schools but shows that the number of homes built since 1997 on the following bodies’ surplus land were as follows:


Ministry of Defence


National Health Service/Department of Health


Government bodies (British Waterway, DEFRA, Homes and Communities Agency)


These figures are likely to under-represent the number of homes built on land formerly owned by Government bodies. However, more detailed information cannot be provided without disproportionate cost.