At Last a Planning Research Report based on Evidence

Rather than the first thing some amateur scribblers in an SW1 dumbtank thought u through their ideological predilections.  Mind you even the RTPI recently published a summary of a report recently stating what they expected the report to find rather than what it did – in turns out in large cities the NPPF has no noticeable impact on the location of large new housing sites.  Had they looked at smaller sites and in rural areas they might have found different.

The fine exception is a report by URBED, Dentons, Gerald Eve and Housing Futures Ltd, for the Mayor of London.

The report looks at (mainly) continental examples of land asssembly and land value capture, building on Nick Falks earlier collaboration with the Later Peter Hall on Contintental Planning best practice planning.

The report sets out detailed findings on how to reform the minutia of land assembly, CPO and land valuation law.  Just what is needed and the findings are applicable well beyond London.

The report’s key recommendations include:

  • creating special Land Assembly Zones to promote land assembly through negotiation with the landowners or through compulsory purchase, where required. In time this could see land pooling being promoted and values frozen at market value on the date of designating the Zones;

  • reforms to speed up the compulsory purchase process with greater powers devolved to the Mayor, as is common in German cities; and

  • establishing a specialist team at City Hall to identify and bring forward land for housing, with the Government providing significant extra resources to support land assembly in London, as is the case in other countries around the world.

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