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Network Rail and MoD to release land for 29,000 homes

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Network Rail is to release land for up to 12,000 new homes by 2020, while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will sell 13 sites for 17,000 homes

The organisation responsible for the UK’s railway network is finalising plans to release land for 5,000 homes in London and 7,000 across the rest of the country over the next four years.

The move is part of the government’s plan to release enough public land for 160,000 homes by 2020.

Network Rail’s property arm has identified nearly 200 sites as suitable for housing development, with 20 of its largest sites already earmarked for developments containing a total of 5,000 homes.

These sites include Manchester’s former Exchange Station site, which has been chosen for a 700-home development, and one in Chesterton, near Cambridge, to be used for an 800-home development.

The remaining 180 sites located across the UK will continue to be assessed by Network Rail with the aim of increasing potential for more housing development.

Alongside the 5,000 homes planned for London, 3,600 are earmarked for Manchester and the North, 1,700 in the Midlands and East of England, and around 1,400 homes in the South of England.

Network Rail will partner with developers to release land on a site-by-site basis over the next four years.

The organisation is also considering an accelerated approach, whereby some sites may be grouped and sold as multi-site developments.

These could go to market as early as April 2017.

All profits from Network Rail Property commercial activities are reinvested back into the railway.

The Ministry of Defence has also announced that it will be releasing 13 extra sites to provide space for up to 17,000 homes.

The land disposal is expected to deliver up to 12,565 new homes by 2020 and raise £225 million. Sites for sale include the Grade II-listed Amport House (pictured) in Hampshire which was formerly used as a champlaincy centre.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘We are getting rid of land that we don’t need to build homes that we do, generating hundreds of millions of pounds in the process.

’Our commitment to protect and increase the budget for our armed forces means that every penny of that will be reinvested into defence, helping to keep Britain safe.’

MoD sites for sale

  • RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire
  • Middlewick Ranges, Essex
  • Amport House, Andover, Hampshire, the British Armed Forces chaplaincy centre
  • Land at Harley Hill, Catterick, North Yorkshire
  • Chalgrove Airfield, Oxfordshire, a former Second World War airfield
  • Colerne Airfield, Chippenham, Wiltshire, a former Second World War airfield
  • Azimghur Barracks, Chippenham, Wiltshire
  • Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham, Lincolnshire
  • Old Dalby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Venning Barracks, Telford
  • Parsons Barracks, Donnington
  • Southwick Park, Fareham, Hampshire
  • Royal Marines Stonehouse, Plymouth
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