Government land grab at discount values will not solve housing crisis, says CLA

04 June 2018

The CLA will tell an influential committee of MPs examining ways of capturing even more of the uplift in the value of land granted planning permission, that it is primarily the impact of restrictive planning and tax systems on the economics of development which are holding back investment in the countryside.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry is looking at the effectiveness of land value capture and powers to buy land at agricultural prices for housing. The CLA submitted written evidence and will give oral evidence to the committee of MPs.

CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said: “Compulsory purchase of land should only ever be a last resort and any changes must acknowledge the economic realities of development in the countryside. 

“The current methods of capturing the increase in land values, through s.106 Agreements and the CIL, both have their flaws, but they do go a long way in funding investment in infrastructure such as housing. At the CLA, we do not support any changes that would make the process even more complex and adversarial.

“The best way to solve the acute shortage of housing in rural areas is to remove the massive barriers that still stand in the way of private landowners who want to invest in providing small-scale housing schemes. These include the uncertainties of navigating the cumbersome, chaotic and under-resourced planning system and a tax system that too often disincentivises positive investment.

“We are open to a more fundamental look at new ways of both providing more housing and capturing land values, but it must start by working with landowners, not seeking to forcibly remove their assets at artificially low prices.”  

Click here to watch the evidence session from 4pm on Monday, 4 June.