David Cameron’s last Government (2010-2015) built less new homes than any Government since World War Two despite a severe supply shortage and a huge increase in demand due to a rapidly growing population.
So it is an absolute disgrace that the Big House Building Companies under Tory rule have been allowed to increase the amount of planning permission approved land they sit on and haven’t built on by 25% since the Tories came to power.
As the Guardian puts it “More than 475,000 new homes in England and Wales have planning permission but are yet to be built, despite the housing shortage facing Britain.
The number of unbuilt homes with planning permission has reached record levels and is 25% higher than five years ago, according to research from the Local Government Association and construction group Glenigan.
The findings will add to the pressure on housebuilders to do more to solve Britain’s housing crisis. The Guardian revealed last week that the nine biggest housebuilders are sitting on enough land to build 615,152 homes. This includes plots with planning permission and those without.”
Remember these Big House Building Companies regularly lobby Government and their prime motive is to increase profit for their shareholders year on year by purposely keeping supply short of demand.
This is precisely why a Government who actually cared about building enough homes would step in with legislation to ensure that these houses were swiftly built.
The Local Government Association (LGA) provides a solution that would work as stated in this article “In an attempt to speed up housebuilding, council leaders have called for developers to pay Council Tax on unbuilt developments from the point that the original planning permission expires.”
A Land Bank Tax is the only way to ensure that developers build these desperately needed homes at an acceptable rate to ensure that the rate of house building returns to normal. And what better way than to do it through an existing mechanism, Council Tax, that will boost Local Government services that have been decimated by Central Government cuts, helping to stem the closure of libraries, day care centres, children’s centre’s etc.