What is a PROD?

There is a little known piece of legislation from the 1980 Local Government Planning and Land Act called a PROD – a Public Request to Order Disposal. A PROD allows an individual to force a public landowner to take action over derelict publicly-owned land or even be forced to put it up for sale.

It covers land in England and Wales owned by county, borough and district councils, police authorities, the Housing Corporation, the Civil Aviation Authority, British Shipbuilders, the Coal Authority, the BBC and the National Rivers Authority.

How does it work?

First of all you need to find out the owner of the land: ask neighbours, check the Land Registrywww.landregistry.gov.uk or contact your local authorities’ empty property office.

If it is publicly-owned, then you can complain in writing (hyperlink to the letter below) to the Director of Planning at your nearest Regional Government Office. You don’t need to notify the owner.

How long does it take?

The Government will contact the owner and find out as much as possible about the property and the owner’s reasons for keeping it empty. The Secretary of State will decide whether the site should just be entered onto the Land Registers or whether an Order of Disposal should be made. If disposal is decided on, the owner will be given 42 days in which to make representation before a decision is made. The sale would usually be on the open market – by auction, tender, or private treaty.

Tips

You should give your reasons for making a PROD request and say who you are, The more information about the property you can give, the easier it will be to identify it. Give the full address and details of the owners (if you have them).

The Government office will contact the owner and find out as much as possible about the property and the owner’s reasons for keeping it empty. Before an order for disposal can be made, the owners must be given 42 days to put forward their case. You will be kept informed of the outcome.