HCA announces increase in public land provision
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced that it will bring forward enough public land by March 2015 to support the provision of 2,000 more homes.A potential 200 sites have been identified which can be brought to market between now and March 31st 2015. This includes 480 hectares of residential land and 900 hectares of commercial developments.Set out in the Land Development and Disposal Plan, the new acquisitions will increase the HCA's contribution to the government's commitment to free up land with the capacity for 100,000 extra homes, bringing the figure to 16,209.The plan sets out the HCA's acquisitions of land from other government departments, such as the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice. It is expected the 19 newly-acquired sites will have the capacity to support over 2,000 new homes, subject to planning approval.A set of acquisitions from the NHS could provide land for up to 800 new homes, which is likely to further increase the HCA's housing capacity target.HCA chief executive Andy Rose said the announcement will give the organisation's partners developmental opportunities. "As set out in the spending round outcome, from April 2015 the HCA will take on a role as the disposal body of choice for central government in bringing public land to market which will help improve the efficiency of government land transactions with the private sector," he commented.The HCA prepares sites for development before they are marketed through remediation, by installing infrastructure or guiding them through the early stages of the planning process. Its Developer Partner Panel disposes of sites on a competitive basis and speeds up and reduces the cost of finding a development partner.A further announcement was made that the HCA is to provide funding to de-risk disposal of 54 sites with the potential capacity for more than 20,000 homes. These include existing HCA sites as well as land under the ownership of the Department of Health and NHS Trusts, and the Ministry of Defence.
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