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11/03/2014

British Property Federation urges land banking review

Words: Laura Chubb
Sir Michael Lyons
The British Property Federation (BPF) has called for a review of land banking before a "use it or lose it" policy is implemented.
 
Responding to the Labour Party's Lyons Review - which follows the announcement last year by Ed Miliband that a Labour government would see 200,000 new homes built annually by 2020, and is led by Sir Michael Lyons (pictured) – the BPF said "the planning system has already been designed to prevent hoarding", with time limits of three or five years most commonly in place.
 
The Federation added it would be better to identify and address where delays in the planning system are caused before introducing a measure such as "use it or lose it". It also recommended a review of the Compulsory Purchase System, pointing out that greater use of CPO powers would "allow local authorities to capture the land value in situations where schemes are stagnating without good reason".
 

"We need to question whether local councils and communities have sufficient incentive to release land"

 
The BPF's submission to the review also asks for a "full and comprehensive" review of green belt policy, "with a view to large-scale potential change". The Federation said it was keen to ensure that the green belt is "first and foremost a planning policy, not an environmental designation policy". 
 
Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "Our key focus is land – how to get it released across local authority boundaries, how to ensure brownfield land is viable, and to pose the question whether green belt policy is always being used appropriately. 
 
"We need to question whether local councils and communities have sufficient incentive to release land, and a need to rekindle the garden city spirit and measures, which did so much to release land in the post-war era."
 
Recommendations for unlocking brownfield land included deduction of CIL charges for "up front" infrastructure. 
 

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