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Map will find underused government property

whitehall government

The public will be able to challenge the use of public buildings following the launch of a map showing locations of government property and land.

The Government Property Finder map reveals where to find publicly held property from motorway lay-bys to vacant airfields.

Under the ‘Right to Contest’, announced earlier this year, people will be able to challenge whether the land or property is being used effectively.

If its current use cannot be justified, says the government, the land or property will be released and put to better use.

Previously, the public could only challenge the wider public sector where land or property was empty or underused. Under the Right to Contest scheme this power is widened to vacant and occupied central government land and property.

The Cabinet Office said the move is part of the government’s drive to increase transparency, save money and support regeneration and growth.

Launching the map, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “As part of our long-term plan for a stronger economy we are slashing our own costs and getting the most out the property we own.

“Since the 2010 general election we have got out of 1,250 properties, but we need to do more. We want the public to use this new map and the Right to Contest to challenge us to release properties we are not using efficiently enough to cut the deficit, support growth and provide more houses."