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The Treasury is poised to seize control of the sale of public land owned by Whitehall departments after losing patience with the slow pace of the government’s land disposal programme. George Osborne is set to announce in next month’s Autumn Statement that all departments will be forced to cede control of their properties and land to a central body, the Homes and Communities Agency. He hopes this will speed the sale of Whitehall real estate, a main part of the government’s housebuilding strategy that has so far amounted only to a half-hearted drip-feed. Financial Times