Council Owned Land

The Council owns many pieces of land across the district.  These range from very small grass verges to banks of rivers through to larger areas.  The majority of Council-owned land is what has remained from the housing stock transfer in 1993.

The Council maintains this land and, depending on its location and size, it has a variety of uses.  Some land sites may be used as amenity areas and some land sites are used for highways visibility for example.  In all cases the Council has the responsibility to maintain this land and ensure as practically possible the safe use of it. 

The Council has a duty to ensure that best value is made of all assets under its control and stewardship.  Every property asset the Council owns needs to support the Council's Corporate Plan and at times the Council will consider disposal of land.  This could be from an interested party making an enquiry, or a proactive disposal that has identified land as surplus to the Council's own requirements.  The Council has a legal duty to obtain best value for any property disposal whatever the reason.

To help seek best value from the Council's property assets, in April 2015 the Council formed a joint venture with Land Group.  The resulting partnership was called Breckland Bridge.  Its purpose is to review the Council's property assets and bring forward schemes for potential alternative use.

Breckland Bridge

Within the business plan for Breckland Bridge there is a workstream of activity which involves reviewing smaller land sites on a programme basis.  The reviews determine whether the nominated sites have a continuing value to retain or whether disposal would create a better overall return for the Council and residents.   Disposal can take many forms - transfer to a village or toun council, transfer to a community group, or outright sale to a neighbour or third party.  This disposal process is reviewed regularly and adjusted if required.

There are various smaller land sites that have been identified for review over the Breckland Bridge programme period.  These sites are just a small number of the thousands of pieces of land that Breckland Council currently owns within the district.

Consultation is the most important part of our process when considering disposal of land.   The process to determine if a piece of land should be disposed will include consultation with the relevant Ward Councillor as well as the local Parish/Town Council.  We encourage residents to share their views with their Ward Councillor.  It is important that we consider all consultation comments, to help us understand a clear picture, in order to inform the review and determine the best outcome.  The review also takes into consideration other material considerations such as whether the site has any allocation in the Local Plan.

Outcomes vary on a site-by-site basis and there is no pre-conceived position that land sites are disposed for a commercial purpose.  We have been pleased that we have disposed of land that creates added community benefits and likewise we have disposed of land that has created a commercial return - that is then used to help support the delivery of Council provided services.  What we look for in the programme is a balanced mix of disposals based on local interest, housing need, and financial returns.  Best value does not always mean financial value, but at the same time we have a responsibility to all of our residents across the whole district to ensure the programme works for them as well.  In practical terms it may be that land that is appropriate to sell to a third party due to alternative open space nearby might be disposed: we will always listen to local concerns, but not everyone will get the outcome they would like.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Property service by email at

View a diagram that illustrates the process undertaken to review any small land site under the Breckland Bridge programme. (PDF) [123KB] (opens new window)

Last updated: 23/11/2023 13:40:31