Public could force councils to sell off vacant land and buildings

Public could force councils to sell off vacant land and buildings under proposed ‘right to regenerate’ law

  • ‘Right to regenerate’ proposals to be announced by the Housing Secretary today
  • Robert Jenrick will unveil plans for councils to sell of vacant land and buildings
  • Law will aim to allow vacant plots be converted into homes or community spaces

The public will be able to force councils to sell off vacant land and buildings under a proposed new law.

Its aim will be to allow vacant plots of land and derelict buildings to be converted into homes or community spaces.

The ‘right to regenerate’ proposals, to be announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today, would make it easier to challenge councils and other public organisations to release land for redevelopment.

Its aim will be to allow vacant plots of land and derelict buildings to be converted into homes or community spaces 

Underused public land could be sold to individuals or communities by default unless there was a compelling reason not to. Public bodies would need to have clear plans for land in the near future, even if only as a temporary use.

If the land is kept for too long without being used, they would be required to sell it. 

The rights would also apply to unused publicly owned social housing and garages.

Latest figures show there were over 25,000 vacant council-owned homes and, according to Freedom of Information data, over 100,000 empty council-owned garages last year. 

Mr Jenrick said he would act as an arbiter to ensure fairness and speedy outcomes. 

He said: ‘Right to Regenerate is the simple way to turn public land into public good, with land sold by default, unless there is a very compelling reason not to do so.

‘We are cutting through red tape so that communities can make better use of available land and derelict buildings, which means more new homes, businesses and community assets.’

Tom Chance, of the National Community Land Trust Network, said: ‘We welcome these plans that could help communities to turn abandoned and neglected land and buildings into fantastic community assets.’

The ‘right to regenerate’ proposals, to be announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today, would make it easier to challenge councils and other public organisations to release land for redevelopment

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