Labour is considering forcing landowners to give up sites for a fraction of their current price in an effort to slash the cost of council house building. The proposal has been drawn up by John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, and would see a Jeremy Corbyn-led government change the law so landowners would have to sell sites to the state at knockdown prices. Landowners currently sell at a price that factors in the dramatic increase in value when planning consent is granted. It means a hectare of agricultural land worth around £20,000 can sell for closer to £2m if it is zoned for housing. Labour believes this is slowing down housebuilding by dramatically increasing costs. It is planning a new English Sovereign Land Trust with powers to buy sites at closer to the lower price.
An assumption here is that housebuilding is lower than it should be but and its a big but, housebuilding levels reflect the level of current demand. The number of extra households each year does not warrant building more than the 189,650 built in 2015-16.
John Healey in common with other politicians seems unaware of how many houses are actually needed.
Housebuilding data from: DCLG, Table 122 Housing Supply; net additional dwellings,1 by local authority district, England: 2001-02 to 2015-16]