First public land pilot disposal to bring new homes to Liverpool and Land Development and Disposal Plan

More than 100 new homes are to be built on former railway land in Aintree, Liverpool, after completion of the first public land pilot disposal. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has recently taken on 35 sites from other government bodies as part of a nationwide effort to get public land with capacity for up to 100,000 homes out to market by March 2015.

The first pilot deal has seen the HCA secure Persimmon Homes Lancashire as the developer for the 17-acre Liverpool site. It was identified within Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council’s 2011 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment as a potential area for sustainable redevelopment. Since taking on the site, the HCA has worked with the council to secure the deal, which will bring a substantial amount of private sector investment to the area and will improve approximately 10 acres of public open space for the residents of Aintree. Persimmon Homes Lancashire expects to apply for planning in September this year with the expectation that, subject to a satisfactory planning consent, construction will begin on site in spring 2015, with the first homes expected to be completed by autumn 2015.

The completion of the deal comes as the HCA publishes its latest Land Development and Disposal Plan (LDDP) today. The updated plan details the landholdings available to developers that the HCA expects to bring to market over the next 2 years running up to March 2016.

The LDDP sets out how the HCA will use its experience of managing large portfolios of land and assets to potentially bring up to 200 sites to market between now and March 2016. Sites in the LDDP will build on the housing capacity of those already disposed, bringing the HCA’s contribution to government’s commitment to dispose of enough land with capacity for 100,000 homes to around 17,000, up from 14,000, by March 2015.

The plan also includes case studies on the ways in which the HCA is bringing public land to market and highlights new development opportunities – including details of sites newly acquired from central government departments and their bodies, including the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Health. Since April 2013, the HCA has acquired and transferred in 35 sites from central government bodies and NHS Trust sites, the majority of which will be brought to market over the coming year and are included in this plan.

HCA Chief Executive, Andy Rose, said:

“From 2015, the HCA will take on an enhanced land disposal role for Government, adding value to surplus public sector sites with development potential and speeding up their sale to help increase the supply of housing and increase economic growth. There are already nearly 70 sites being marketed on our website, and today we have set out a further indicative pipeline that will give our partners development opportunities right up to the end of the spending period.

“We are now the second largest contributor of land supply in government and this is core business for the HCA, building on our commercial expertise, experience of managing large portfolios of land and investment, and local knowledge. Our expanding public land role builds on our strengths of bringing brownfield sites to market for development and our local market knowledge. We are already adding more sites to our development pipeline, such as 29 surplus sites acquired from central government last year and recently 6 NHS Trust sites.”

The landholdings in the plan are grouped according to the HCA operating area in which they are located. Sites are disposed of on a competitive basis, many through the HCA’s Delivery Partner Panel, a fast-track procurement process that speeds up and reduces the cost of procuring a development partner for the HCA and other public bodies. The panel has been used to procure 14,000 homes in the last year, with 50 public organisations currently signed up to use it.

The Land Development and Disposal Plan and current development opportunities are available from the HCA website. HCA development opportunities are also detailed on the government site Find Me Some Government Space.