Putting Public Land To Public Use – A First Step

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Sep 28 20:28:38 BST 2018

Putting Public Land To Public Use – A First Step


06 OCTOBER, 2017 |

We often talk about the housing crisis, and the 
unaffordability of homes and rent – but we rarely 
talk about the land beneath our homes, and its role in the crisis.

Across the country, a lack of affordable land is 
stoking the affordability crisis, forcing up the 
price of homes and rents. Despite this, and under 
the radar, the government has been pursuing a 
massive sale of public land – encouraging 
cash-strapped public authorities to sell their 
hospitals, courtrooms and car parks to the 
highest bidder to plug holes in their budgets.

This is a huge missed opportunity. Instead of 
off-loading land to private developers, by 
keeping the land in public or community control 
and building high quality, affordable homes we 
could actually start to solve the housing crisis.

This map, developed after discussion with local 
groups up and down the country, is our first step 
to bringing the public land sell-off to a halt, 
and ensuring that our land is used for the 
benefit of the community. It pinpoints where 
public land is for sale and identifies sites that have already been sold.

What information have we mapped so far?
    * Reports on the Government-led land sale 
provided by the Department for Communities and 
Local Government (DCLG). This was last updated in 
February 2017. A new report was due in July 2017, 
but has been postponed to 2018.
    * Land and property registers of individual 
public departments such as the Department of 
Health, Greater London Authority and Ministry of Justice.
    * Registers of public land put up for sale 
over the last five years on the Government 
Property Unit’s Electronic Property Information 
Mapping Service (EPIMS). The EPIMS register, 
updated daily, includes public land and property 
which is not being used and is therefore classed 
as surplus. There is a 40-day window during which 
other government agencies can propose new uses 
for the land. Once the property is outside this 
window, it appears on the register of public 
sector land as is available for sale.
    * We’ve supplemented these public records 
with our own research by 
the development plans of some of the large sites 
already sold, to shed light whether the land sale 
was really in the public interest.

But this is just the start. What we’d like to include:
    * Local authority land: Councils are required 
to keep an asset register, ideally, specifying 
land they’ve identified as surplus and what they 
intend to do with it. But because each local 
authority records this information differently, 
and to varying degrees of detail, compiling a 
coherent, up-to-date picture is a difficult task.
    * ‘Soft’ data from local residents: The best 
information about what is happening to land is 
gathered at a local level, by people living 
nearby. That’s why we’re working with community 
groups and campaign organisations across the UK 
to improve local land literacy and encourage 
communities to spot sites that aren’t being 
effectively used, creating their own land 
registers. In the months to come, we’ll include 
some of these local insights on our map.
    * More detail so communities can take action: 
Though the DCLG monitoring of the land sale is a 
good start, there are details missing that we 
think are crucial to allow the public to decide 
whether the sell off is really in our interest. 
Namely, the value of the land sold, the level of 
affordable homes and homes for social rent 
provided, and who the land is being sold to. 
We’ll continue working with partners like 
<http://www.sharedassets.org.uk/>Shared Assets to 
create a strong public mandate for better 
transparency over our land economy, for example 
through holding the Government to account over 
its commitment to open up and improve Land Registry data.

Watch this space for updated versions of the map. 
We hope you make good use of it in the meantime. 
Props to Rob Levy in particular for his mapping 
skills, as well as Hanna Wheatley, Clifford 
Singer and Joe Beswick for getting the map live.

up to our #SavePublicLand campaign to hear about 
future actions as well as new research and resources.

NB please do reply with remove as the subject or 
first line if you do not wish to recieve further emails - thanks

'From South America, where payment must be made 
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
participatory role in the development of many of 
its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
several years before our conversation, but with 
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits 
earmarked as always for his venture capital 
benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how 
Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'

You can donate to support Tony's work here http://www.bilderberg.org/bcfm.htm

TG mobile +44 7786 952037  
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