Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Relaxed planning rules are not the key to growth

Press release from the Labour Land Campaign

The government claims that its new slimmed down planning guidelines will give new momentum to economic recovery.

The Labour Land Campaign says there is a far better way to free up land for housing and business development.

It is outrageous that new large scale developments could be more easily allowed on green land when so many sites in our towns and cities are underused or lay idle.

And house builders have no right to complain about planning constraints when they currently hold land with permission for the building of 300.000 new homes.

The Labour Land Campaign says we need a mechanism that brings idle brownfield sites and land banks into their full permitted use to protect our countryside from urban sprawl with developments in areas where the required infrastructure, health care or education provision is not in place, where there is poor public transport and where people are even more reliant on cars to take children to school and to go shopping and to commute to work.

The Labour Land Campaign advocates a fundamental change to taxation whereby taxes are shifted off labour and investment and on to natural resource wealth including all land according to its permitted use value.

Eleanor Firman, Chair of the Labour Land Campaign, says “we need an Annual Land Value Tax (LVT) on all land which will act as an incentive to bring the numerous empty and underused commercial and residential sites and buildings in our towns and cities into full use, providing much needed affordable homes and business premises. LVT will discourage urban sprawl, unnecessary long distance commuting and will use urban land more efficiently.

By eliminating or reducing other negative taxes such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, Business Rates, Council Tax, VAT, Corporation Tax and Income Tax, LVT will encourage economic revival in depressed areas of the country as marginal costs for businesses will reduce. We need to put a stop to property speculation where irresponsible and greedy land owners are only interested in taking land wealth that is created by the whole of society and care nothing about the impact their behaviour has on local communities or on the environment.

Land is a precious natural resource and should be used sparingly; urban sprawl damages our environment in so many ways.”


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