Don’t be fooled!
There have been a lot of deceptive headlines about government’s announcement of putting “on hold” planned sales of the PFE outside of the consultation process. We want to clear up what this means, hectare by hectare.
The Public Forest Estate comprises 258,000 hectares of land. Current legislation allows the government to sell up to 15% of this publicly owned land (38,700ha). The Public Bodies Bill clauses 17-19 will give the Secretary of State enabling powers to sell the remaining 85% (219,300ha).
The “on hold” sales are the 15% the government have already committed to selling between 2011-2015 – that’s around 38,700ha (or an average of 9,765ha per year).
Between 1997 and 2010 government sold 12,120ha and bought 5,403ha. Therefore PFE land sold during the full 13 years of the last government equals around 6,717ha (or an average of 517ha per year).
Land Sold 1997-2010 6,717ha (517ha/year)
Land Sales Planned 2011-2015 38,700ha (9,765ha/year)
Remember: 38,700ha is only 15% of the PFE. The government are legally allowed to sell 15% of our land under current legislation. The government are changing the law through the Public Bodies Bill to enable them to sell/lease/transfer the remaining 85% (219,300ha). The on-going public consultation ONLY refers to the 85%.
The consultation DOES NOT REFER TO THE 15% planned sales currently “on hold”.