NAO Says Government Behind on Land Disposal Scheme

The National Audit Office has said that the government has had a slow start to its land disposal programme, with the Department for Communities and Local Government only releasing enough land for 8,580 homes so far.

Since the new land disposal programme was launched 10 months ago, the DCLG has met just 5% of its commitment.

It released a further three per cent of land, although the Homes and Communities Agency, which takes responsibility for the collection of information from government departments, has yet to find enough evidence to prove that the additional land will be used for housing.

The NAO has said that DCLG must get rid of more sites in all of the next four months than the best performing year in any of the former land disposal schemes.

Laid out in last year’s spending review, the 160,000 home target was set out to help the government in the delivery of one million homes by the end of the current parliament.

June 2011 saw the government set up its first land disposal programme which ran through to March last year. Its target was to release sufficient land for 100,000 homes by 2015.

However, last June’s NAO report revealed that the government had disposed of only enough capacity to build 109,590 new homes across just under 1,000 sites. However, the target was only a measure of the notional number of expected homes, rather than the actual number of homes built.

The latest report stated that government departments have so far identified additional land capacity for another 104,461 homes, or 65% of the programme. However, just over half of the housing capacity is on high risk sites.

The DCLG defines high risk sites as those which have at least one issue that prevents the exchange of contracts before 2020 and the NAO has said that this includes operational sites.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023