Public Accounts Committee holds an evidence session on the disposal of public land for new homes inquiry: progress review.
Scope of the inquiry
The Plan for Growth in the March 2011 Budget set out the Government’s intentions to dispose of surplus government land. The then Housing Minister, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP announced the first land disposals programme in June 2011 which planned to "release enough public land to build as many as 100,000 new, much-needed, homes and support as many as 25,000 jobs by 2015".
In the 2014 Autumn Statement, the Government announced an “increased ambition for public sector land and commits to releasing enough land for up to 150,000 homes between 2015 and 2020”. By 2020 the Government expected at least a further £5 billion of receipts from surplus land.
The National Audit Office’s investigation into progress towards these targets raised concerns regarding evidence behind the targets and also that departments do not routinely monitor what happens to a site after disposal so there is no information on how many homes have been built on sold land.
The PAC looked into this issue in Summer 2015 and published the following report, raising a number of issues around the delivery of value for money, missing data and a lack of oversight of the programme. The Public Accounts Committee intends to recall the department to investigate progress on the recommendations in their report on Monday 25th January 2016, to monitor developments.