Almost everything Labour does has been telegraphed first by Labour doing it first in the UK. Helen Clark copied Tony Blair’s third way politics, his pledge card, titles for cash, and corruption scandals.
How long before they try this here? If they are smart they will get Len Brown to propose it first…or whisper it in Clint’s ear so he can get Russel to announce it.
Developers could be forced to build on land they are hoarding or hand it back to communities, under proposals to be outlined by Labour.
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, will say companies sitting on land while waiting for the price to rise must “use it or lose it” under moves to ease the housing shortage.
In a speech in Birmingham, he will suggest that building firms should be fined if they refuse to develop land that has been given planning permission. Councils could also be given “compulsory purchase” powers to buy back sites that lie empty for years, despite having been approved for development. The proposals will be examined as part of Labour’s policy review and could feature in the party’s next election manifesto.
Planning permission has already been granted for 400,000 homes across the country, equal to a city the size of Birmingham, but they have not yet been built, in a practice known as “land banking”.
The Labour leader is concerned that property prices have risen too high, making homes unaffordable for many young working families.
He believes that homes must be built across the country but the priority should be to develop land that already has planning permission, rather than seeking to build on new greenfield sites.