Farage Pitches for CPRE Voters


People who buy homes on brownfield sites in towns and cities should not have to pay stamp duty, Nigel Farage has said.

The UK Independence Party leader also said that Ukip was proposing to issue government bonds in brownfield sites to help fund building in those areas.

The measures, which are likely to be in Ukip’s general election manifesto, are part of Ukip’s plans to spare the countryside from increased development and refocus building within city boundaries.

Campaigners complain that developers are keener to build on greenfield sites around the edge of towns than shoulder the cost of building on previously developed or “brownfield” land.

This is because the soil in former industrial sites have to be cleaned up and decontaminated before work can start.

There is thought to be enough fo this brownfield land in England for between 1.5million and 2.5million new homes, a large proportion of which are in London where demand for new homes is at its highest.

Mr Farage, in a speech to the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s annual meeting, also attempted to paint Ukip as the party of the countryside in a further bid to erode Conservative support.

The Government should not subsidise decontaminating brownfield land to encourage building in urban areas. Instead there were “better and cleverer ways to do it.”

Mr Farage said the Government should set out a register for brownfield sites and then make it cheaper for people to buy homes built there.

He said: “What we need to do is give the developers some incentives – how about the elimination of stamp duty on homes that are built on brownfield sites. That would help wouldn’t it?”

Stamp duty land tax is charged on land and property transactions in the UK, increasing from one per cent of the value of properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000 to seven per cent of the value of homes worth more than £2million.

Another idea was to remove corporation tax from developers who build on brownfield sites. He said: “How about giving developers a corporation tax holiday. We could do it for three years or five years.

“But boy if you say to companies ‘Here is a 20 per cent reduction in your corporation tax’ I think that would encourage them to go there as well.”

Mr Farage also said that he wanted to examine whether the Government could issue “brownfield bonds” to raise funds to clean up brownfield sites.

He said: “The specific purpose of those bonds would be to try to clear up these areas, to try to make it easier for the developers.”

Mr Farage made clear that Ukip was planning to exploit unease among traditional Tory supporters over the National Planning Policy Framework, which relaxed planning rules when it was introduced in 2012.

Mr Farage said there had been “huge upset and distress” that the National Planning Policy Framework can over-ride the will of local councils over planning issues.

He said: “Many people who are fighting planning applications that they believe to be inappropriate now feel pretty impotent on the issue.”

Ukip would introduce Swiss-style referendums to give local people a say over contested planning decisions.

He said: “Planning is one of those areas where from time to time a county may well call a referendum.

“There are some who say that if you give people this ability or this power they will oppose absolutely all forms of progress but that is not true.

“People are more intelligent than that. If somebody did call a referendum on a big brownfield site I suspect most of the population would say ‘actually this is rather a good idea’.”

Mr Farage said that they would provide a boost for town centres adding that many had been choked off by nearby shopping centres. “I hate shopping centres,” he said.


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