Network Rail has revealed plans to release enough land for 12,000 homes across 200 sites across the country.
The move is part of its contribution to the government’s target to release land with the potential for 160,000 homes.
The release will run alongside the government’s programme of development announced in April 2016, which aims to deliver 10,000 homes around railway stations around the UK.
It is expected land for around 5,000 homes will be in London, with 3,600 in Manchester and the north of England, 1,700 in the Midlands and East of England, and around 1,400 in the south of the country.
The programme is already underway with earmarked sites including the former Exchange Station in Manchester, which has scope for 700 homes, and Chesterton, near Cambridge, where there is potential for 800 homes.
Network Rail will partner with developers to release the land on a site-by-site basis over three to four years and is also considering grouping sites together to sell for multi-site developments which launched for sale by spring.
Network Rail has already supported the delivery of land for more than 1,700 homes during its last investment period from 2009 to 2014, and land for 1,200 has been delivered in the current investment period 2015 to 2020.
David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “The railway stands as a backbone of the UK economy. Unlocking railway land for redevelopment and investing in stations and infrastructure can, and does, transform large swathes of our towns and cities and boost local and regional economies.
“As we now ramp up our land release programme to deliver thousands more homes, we will be working closely with the Homes and Communities Agency, London Land Commission, local authorities and developers to bring identified sites forward to help meet the country’s housing needs.”
The announcement follows a move by Network Rail to give its specialist business Network Rail Property more independence by establishing a property board to approve and provide recommendations about investments and disposals of its property assets.
From August 2016: Network Rail appoints pair to property board