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The right spaces in the right places

As the One Public Estate initiative enters its next phase, the government must seize the opportunity to dispose of surplus land and meet demand for housing, writes Kristian Scholfield

27 October 2015

The government's reform agenda is leaving no part of the public sector untouched. With phase three
of the One Public Estate (OPE) initiative now in full flow, it is apparent that focus remains on the large local government property estate, with councils being urged to look afresh at their land and property assets.

Once referred to as a 'bloated property portfolio', the value
of the entire public estate is estimated at around £350bn,
with councils owning assets worth around £150bn and
annual running costs estimated at more than £5bn.

Launched in 2013, the OPE initiative operates alongside other programmes to rationalise property held by central government, such as the
Amenity Assets programme.

The OPE initiative aims to generate capital receipts; reduce public sector spending by reducing operat...

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