You can ask for publicly owned land or buildings to be sold if you think they’re vacant or underused.
Find out who owns land or buildings
You can find out who owns land or buildings by:
- contacting the government department, council or public body you think is the owner
- checking the government’s property and land asset database
- searching the Land Registry database
Ask for property to be sold
Download and fill in the ‘right to contest’ application form and send it to the address on the form. The addresses are different for government property and local public body or council property.
You must say why you think the property is being underused and what you think it could be used for.
You won’t have the right to buy the property - the owner can accept other offers.
The department or agency won’t sell if:
- the land or buildings aren’t safe for your proposed use, eg if they’re part of a port, army barracks or on a flood plain
- they’ve plans for the land, eg for a railway or road
- the cost of selling wouldn’t be good value for the taxpayer, eg moving to another site would cost more than the value of the property
You’ll get a letter telling you the result of your application.
Contact the Government Property Unit about property owned by the government and national agencies.
Government Property Unit firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Horse Guards Road
Contact the National Planning Casework Team about property owned by local councils and public bodies.
The National Planning Casework Team email@example.com
5 St Philip’s Place