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:

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.

Further information

Contact the Government Property Unit about property owned by the government and national agencies.

Government Property Unit

Cabinet Office
1 Horse Guards Road

Contact the National Planning Casework Team about property owned by local councils and public bodies.

The National Planning Casework Team

5 St Philip’s Place
Colmore Row
B3 2PW