From 8 January 2014 the public will be able to contest the use of central government land and property and apply for its release. Previously, members of the public only had the right to challenge local authorities where land or property is empty or under-used.
Under the Right to Contest scheme, announced at the Spending Round 2013 and developed by the Cabinet Office, this power is widened to central government land and property, both vacant and occupied. From 8 January 2014 communities and businesses are able to action their Right to Contest and submit applications challenging the use of sites. This can be done using a simple form explaining why they believe a site is potentially surplus and could be put to better economic use.
Applicants will need to say why they believe the site is potentially surplus, and only if the location is vital for operational use or there are overriding reasons will it not be released to the open market.
Under Right to Contest, applications will go before a committee comprising Ministers from the Treasury, Cabinet Office and the landholding department. For more information, please click here.