Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

‘Right to Contest’ use of central-government-owned land launched

The government has launched its Right to Contest scheme, whereby members of the public, community groups and businesses will be able to challenge the use of central-government-owned land and request that it is sold. This is significant in light of independent estimates suggesting that the public sector holds around 40 per cent of developable sites and around 27 per cent of brownfield land suitable for housing.

Currently, a challenge can be made in respect of land owned by local authorities and other public bodies using the Community Right to Reclaim Land.

If it can be shown that such land is either under-used or vacant, that there are no suitable, consulted upon and publicly tested plans in place or likely to be put in place in an acceptable period of time or that the land should be disposed of in order to enable it to be brought back into use, then the secretary of state for communities and local government will make an assessment. If it agrees, a disposal notice will be issued to require the public body to dispose of the land. This will normally involve an open-market sale…

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