Land disposal policy


It is important that land in which Network Rail has an interest and which may be important to the continuing operation and future development of the network, and services relating to railways, is not disposed of against the public interest.

Condition 17 of Network Rail's network licence safeguards against the inappropriate disposal of land assets. Network Rail must seek our consent for any disposal not covered by a general consent.

Network Rail's obligations are set out in the document Land Disposal by Network Rail: The regulatory arrangements.

Network Rail's role in land disposal

When Network Rail refers a disposal to us for consent, it must provide a description of the proposals plus evidence of stakeholders' views and final positions together with any commentary on them.

For every submission we expect Network Rail to consult the stakeholders set out below, depending on the geographical location of the proposed disposal. It is expected that passenger representative organisations will represent the overall comments or views of individuals using the railways when giving their views to Network Rail.

Parties that must be consulted:

  • Department for Transport / Transport Scotland / Scottish Council for Development & Industry / Welsh Government
  • Association of Train Operating Companies
  • Rail Freight Group and Freight Transport Association
  • Train operating companies (passenger and freight)
  • Local authorities
  • Passenger Transport Authorities and Passenger Transport Executives
  • Transport for London
  • Port and airport authorities (where relevant)
  • British Transport Police
  • Transport Focus / London TravelWatch

We will issue a decision, either granting or refusing consent within two months of the receipt of the application.

Since Network Rail can also dispose of land through our general consent, we need to be satisfied that its internal processes can identify land with possible railway use for, or in connection with, services relating to railways. We will carry out checks each year to see that general consent transactions remain appropriate. The results of our last check are available.

Latest land disposals

Details of current land disposal cases and previous decisions are available from our current land disposal cases page.