We welcome this Government’s continued commitment to boosting the supply of housing.
The LPDF looks forward to working with the local authorities, statutory consultees, communities and all other parties as we strive to achieve the delivery of homes that the country desperately needs.
Land Value Capture
The LPDF supports the principle that those responsible for development should bear the costs of its impact on existing communities. The current system of developer contributions and taxation captures significant value for the public purse:
- Land Value Capture is in place through the correct use of the existing tools at the disposal of local planning authorities: The NPPF, Section 106, Section 278 of the Highways Act, and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
- This is further supported by the Capital Gains Tax regime (generally at 28%) for the landowner’s receipts on sale, following the deduction of the above items.
- Any corporate, promoting entity trading in the land would pay Corporation Tax at the appropriate rate on any profits made. This is effectively after deduction of the community benefits already paid from the Gross Land Value.
We are committed to helping the government and local authorities improve the effectiveness of the current system.
Compulsory Purchase Orders
The use of Compulsory Purchase Orders has been previously examined by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee in the context of Land Value Capture in September 2018.
That assessment concluded that ‘Government should build on its reforms to the CPO process and consider ways in which the process can be further simplified, to make it faster and less expensive for local authorities, whilst not losing safeguards for those affected’.
The LPDF endorses that conclusion and believe that any greater initiative to address established legal concepts of ‘hope value’ will fail:
- It is important to recognise the current planning system is inherently structured to provide for value capture and this is best reflected in the provision of affordable housing.
- This requirement is entirely a product of policy and can provide that some 50% of a development scheme is prescribed to this use, notwithstanding the established fact that it is secured primary for the wider public good and it is not inherently needed to secure a sustainable development scheme.
The LPDF welcomes the publication of the revised NPPF on 24th July 2018.
Whilst the detailed wording of the policy and, more importantly, the implementation of that policy will only be understood over time, the LPDF welcomes the opportunities provided by the document. In particular, we welcome the accompanying amendment to the Planning Practice Guidance, which seeks to amend the methodology as appropriate in order to ensure that the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s is achievable.
The revised NPPF can be found here.
At the heart of the NPPF is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.
For plan-making this means that:
- Local planning authorities should positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area;
- local plans should meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change, unless: any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole; or specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted.
For decision-taking this means:
- Approving development proposals that accord with the development plan without delay;
- and where the development plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting permission unless: any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole; or specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted.
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