Loosen grip on sites, Greg Clark tells councils

Communities Secretary calls upon Whitehall and local authorities to “let go” of their surplus and redundant land

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has called upon Whitehall and local authorities to “let go” of their surplus and redundant land so that it can be released for housebuilding.

The Government intends to release enough land for 150,000 homes by 2020, which it said was “equivalent to the number of homes in Wakefield”. Clark urged the 326 councils in England to follow government departments in looking at their land assets and to use some of their plots to deliver new homes, with an emphasis on brownfield sites.

Clark said: “I want to see departments going further and faster than before, starting right away, to loosen their grip on sites that are standing idle and to turn them over for house-building.

“Councils are significant landowners and town halls should be looking at their estate, particularly brownfield sites, and thinking about how they could make better use of their holdings by releasing land for new homes for their communities.”

Clark spoke ahead of the first meeting of a ministerial Housing Taskforce.

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