Labour will force landowners to sell to the state to boost council housebuilding

Posted On: 
2nd February 2018

Labour has revealed plans to force landowners to sell to the state at a reduced price in an effort to boost council housebuilding. 

John Healey is the Shadow Housing Secretary
Credit: 
PA

The proposals would give councils the power to buy land without factoring in the value added by planning permission – which can hike prices substantially.

Granting planning consent on a hectare of agricultural land worth around £20,000 could increase its value to around £2m.

Labour’s ruling body calls on Haringey Council to stop controversial housing project

‘Seriously disrupt’ market to solve housing crisis, says Labour MP

Labour slams 'disastrous failure' on affordable housing

According to the Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey, the changes would slash the cost of building 100,000 council houses a year by almost £10bn to £16bn.

He told the Guardian: “The principle behind this idea is simple: the additional value of land publicly created by the granting of planning permission should flow to the local community rather than just as windfall profit to big developers, landowners and land agents.

“Rather than letting private landowners benefit from this windfall gain – and making everyone else pay for it – enabling public acquisition of land at nearer pre-planning-permission value would mean cheaper land which could help fund cheaper housing,”

Speaking earlier this week, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid indicated he might support such a change.

Referring to the higher land value associated with planning permission, he said: “I think it’s right that the state takes a portion of that uplift to support local infrastructure and development.”