Public land could be home to 2 million new houses, according to Savills.
The consultants argue that surplus or udnerused public role could play a “vital role” in delivering new build homes. Indeed, construction is only building homes at half the rate needed to meet demand from the growing population.
The firm’s estimate is based on detailed analysis of public records of the Central Government Estate and the land holdings of the Greater London Authority (GLA) as well as market knowledge of the potential for development on NHS and Local Authority land.
“A lack of transparency regarding the totality of these assets remains a major drawback in assessing the full potential, despite huge progress by the Government in this area,” warns Savills, “and limited public data currently makes it impossible to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all public land,”
The Central Government estate currently holds 250,000 hectares of land in England, for which data is available, but a lack of data means that large parts of public land holdings are impossible to measure. NHS and Local Authority land, which Savills was not able to include in its analysis, has “significant potential”.
Little data is available regarding NHS Land. However, based on market experience the firm knows that these sites include many prime developable locations with scope for intensification. Hence Savills best estimate for the number of additional homes that could be delivered through the reconfiguration and intensification of operational sites within the NHS estate could be 300,000. NHS Property Services, which controls just 11 per cent of the whole estate, released 24 hectares of surplus land between April 2013 and July 2014 alone.
“Big strides have been made to provide data on Central Government holdings but we urgently need to achieve a similar register of assets held by Local Authorities and NHS bodies,” says Robert Grundy, head of housing, Savills housing division. “Only then will we be in a position to accurately assess the full potential both for housing delivery and income generation for the public bodies currently holding the land.”
Source: The Movechannel