The shadow Levelling Up Secretary, Labour MP Lisa Nandy, has announced a controversial policy that would see landowners being forced to sell land for below its market value.
Labour’s proposed changes to compulsory purchase rules would allow local authorities to force landowners to sell their land at its agricultural value, not at its ‘hope value’ – the amount a seller would likely achieve on an open market.
The CLA has pushed back strongly, both in the national press and in a letter directly to Ms Nandy.
Mark Tufnell, President of the Country Land and Business Association, said:
“Forcing hard-pressed farmers to sell their land for a fraction of its potential value, only to then – via local authorities - put it in the hands of developers who make hundreds of millions of pounds profit every year, is a strange way to level up the country.
“We desperately need sensible housing development in rural areas, where a small number of homes are built in a large number of villages. This is necessary to recruit workers for rural businesses and to strengthen our rural communities.
“The failure of politicians at a local and national level to provide a planning system that works for rural towns and villages is at the heart of the problem.”
There are many reasons why there is a housing crisis in this country, but Labour’s attempt to ask farmers to shoulder the financial burden of fixing it is frankly baffling
The CLA will continue to lobby Labour intensely against this damaging policy.