The source of data is the UK House of Commons and represent the latest update of the list of MOD disposals.
According to the latest MOD Defense Infrastructure Interim Land and Property Disposal Strategy, The UK Government has set a target for land owned by central government to be disposed of. MOD only holds land and property in support of operational defense capability. Land identified as being surplus to requirements is released for disposal. However, recognizing that land is key to generating disposal receipts through economic development, the Defense Infrastructure Organization (DIO) has three key objectives in relation to MOD landholdings:
– being transparent about the landholdings and the disposal principles and selling land in accordance with Treasury guidelines (Managing Public Money),
– not holding land longer than necessary – making sure it is disposed of as quickly as possible; and
– arraying out disposals on terms that both achieve value for money in disposal receipts and generally promote development, economic activity and growth.
The MOD landholdings as of 31 May 2011:
*Country Figures for 2011 (hectares) % Total Land Holdings*
England 184,878 82%
Wales 20,598 9%
Scotland 18,694 8%
N. Ireland 3,029 1%
Total 227,199 100%
In disposing of sites, the DIO seeks to provide clarity and a ‘level playing field’ for bidders to achieve a clear, sustainable exit having secured the desired outcome and achieved financial close. The Organization actively seeks to avoid any enduring responsibility. The only situation where the DIO would normally anticipate an ongoing role post disposal and financial completion is through the monitoring and release of clawback/overage.
Larger and/or strategically located development sites will usually include identification of a mix of uses to reflect local planning policies. DIO’s approach to considering options for use if there is planning uncertainty has been previously stated. Once the mix of end use is agreed, the DIO may choose to agree on a planning brief, master plan or outline planning consent in consultation with the local planning authorities and other stakeholders. Having achieved sufficient certainty about use, the DIO seeks to dispose of the site and transfer the majority of the planning process to the developer, to allow them to bring their scheme through the local planning process.
The DIO may invest to de-risk the site prior to disposal. As a principle, the DIO proposes to undertake the minimum necessary pre-disposal work, subject to Health & Safety issues, value for money and affordability. Often for strategic development sites there will be some complexity relating to planning, title, site conditions or environmental status. As many as possible of the investigations relating to such matters should be transferred to the purchaser but usually a small amount of upfront investigation and/or work with the local planning authority can clarify the position and de-risk the site.
In order to promote development and reflect market risk, very large sites may need to be subdivided into manageable development parcels and disposed of in phases, potentially through a development or ‘joint venture’ partner.
The terms of disposal generally reflect MOD’s standard contract but may be considered on a case by case basis, reflecting the development economics of a particular site and the risks associated with its development. In deciding which of the following broad sets of terms to use, the DIO seeks to maximize the gross accrued disposal receipt whilst ensuring value for money. The decision on terms focuses on the optimal risk transfer to balance those objectives. In most situations the terms will be set before the disposal process starts, in other cases, the disposal process will be used to test different terms to asses which offers the best value for money for that site.