Final Letwin Review to Recommend Increased Land Value Capture – But May Resists

So why have MHCLG official been playing this down (i.e. reform of the Land Compensation Act 1961 to extend the no scheme world principle to all development land?)  as the article says Downing Street and Treasury ‘locked in the discussion’  the pull back cant be Gavin Barwell – who put LVC in Manifesto – it must be the Prime Minister as ever. putting the brake on measures which could radically increase housebuilding.

Telegraph

Landowners to be forced to sacrifice profits for more affordable houses, under plans expected to be unveiled in budget

Councils would be able to strip landowners of large portions of profits from the sale of their land, under proposals expected to be unveiled in the Budget, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

An official review commissioned by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, is to endorse controversial calls for the state to “capture” more of the increase in value of sites when they are granted planning permission.

Sir Oliver Letwin, the former minister carrying out the review, is expected to recommend that local authorities should be able to seize greater amounts of landowners’ profits in order to fund the construction of local infrastructure such as roads and affordable homes.

Downing Street and the Treasury are now believed to be locked in discussions over how radical an approach the government could endorse. Sir Oliver’s final report could go as far as recommending the compulsory purchase of land at discounted prices that exclude the “uplift” in value from planning permission.

 But some are pushing for less radical measures, amid fears the use of compulsory purchase laws would be toxic among many traditional Conservative supporters.

Mr Hammond is planning to set out Sir Oliver’s proposals in the Budget on October 29, although the Chancellor is likely to fall short of formally adopting any ideas until they have been further scrutinised by the government.

Separately, sixty councils across England have pledged to build council homes on a scale not seen since the 1970s, in an open letter following Theresa May’s decision to lift a borrowing cap currently imposed on local authorities.

Sir Oliver’s report comes amid growing calls from MPs, charities and think tanks, for the state to claw back more of the increase in value that landowners gain from planning permission granted by local authorities, including with a radical overhaul of compulsory purchase laws.

Developers warn the campaign advocates a “wholesale erosion of private property rights” and insist that existing mechanisms already allow councils to extract money for local infrastructure.

Sir Oliver’s focus on further capture of land value came in the final months of his review of the “gap” between the number of planning permissions granted to developers and the number of homes actually being built.

“In carrying out the review he has alighted in the fact land owners are making more money than they should,” said a source familiar with Sir Oliver’s discussions.

Addressing current slow “build out” rates of homes due to be constructed, Sir Oliver is expected to set out recommendations designed to ensure a greater mix of homes on large sites, including by handing over portions of the biggest sites to smaller developers in order to help increase the rate of construction.

He told The Sunday Telegraph in March that the main reason for the slow rates of construction was that homes on the largest sites were too alike, both in terms of the buildings themselves and their surroundings, and the “tenure” of the properties – whether, for example, they were ultimately aimed at private purchasers or renters, or those who would be renting through local authorities or housing associations.

 

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