Emma Reynolds – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Emma Reynolds on 2015-01-15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many disposal notices he has issued as a result of bids under the Community Right to Reclaim Land.

Brandon Lewis

I have attached a table which outlines the actions we have taken in response to each substantive request under the Right to Reclaim since its introduction in 2011. Each case is considered on its individual merits. Even where a direction to dispose is not issued, the whole process of challenging the local authority can help fast-track their own disposal plans. We do not hold information on the status of the applicant.

The act of Whitehall forcing councils to dispose of land is controversial, there is a high threshold for deciding whether a disposal can be ordered..

There is a strong commitment from the Government to making the best use of its land and disposing of land that is no longer needed. As such in addition to the Right to Reclaim Land powers which relate primarily to local government or other public bodies, a new Right to Contest was created in January 2014. This gives individuals, communities and businesses the ability to challenge Government on land and property owned by Whitehall departments and their agencies which is being used, but where, if sold, a better economic use could be made of it. Whilst theoretically people can still use the Community Right to Reclaim Land for Government land, in practice, most will now be dealt with under Right to Contest.