Labour report

Labour report proposes development to be led by public bodies, not private developers

Development should be led by democratically accountable public bodies and communities, not private developers — according to a new report commissioned by the Labour party.

Land for the Many proposes radical changes in the way land in the UK is used and governed.

It states that new public development corporations should be given the power to purchase, develop and sell land in the public interest for the creation of new towns and other communities.

These corporations should be able to obtain long-term, low-cost loans from Labour’s proposed regional development banks.

The report believes that by enabling development corporations and public authorities to acquire land at prices closer to its current use value, rather than its potential future residential value, it could reduce the cost of building affordable housing by up to 50%.

In addition, it was proposed that the sale of public land to the highest bidder was to be removed, while PRS tenancies should become open-ended.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Although some people may be scared by the prospect, some of the ideas have merit.”

The report recommends that a Labour government should set a goal to stabilise house prices, so that wages can catch up.

“As for the other measures, not many people would take issue with stable prices and more affordable homes, but pulling that particular rabbit out of the hat has always proved difficult in the past,” Jeremy added. 

“Killing market forces and the ability of the private sector to generate much-needed housing for all will remain important unless the public sector is going to take over the majority of housing provision.”


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    Harry Midgley

    In 1964 the new Labour Government brought in Betterment levy which in effect confiscated any development gain. It came as no surprise that by 1970 the Conservative Government had to abolish it simply because the supply of land had dried up and few houses were being built The current proposals by the Labour party would have precisely the same effect The way to reduce house prices is to build more houses so that demand does not keep pushing up prices. If we reduce house prices then many families will find themselves in negative equity again as they did in the early 1990s

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