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PR 37 - Minister strengthens planning to get tough on land banking

22 November 2007

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is delighted to see a bold Ministerial response to tackling land banking as set out in the Callcutt Review of housing delivery. Yvette Cooper has announced today she will consult on a new legal definition of what constitutes 'starting on site'. The Minister has also proposed a 'new industry standard' to increase clarity and transparency in developer's land holdings. The RTPI was the first to put these ideas forward in our report showing that house builders are sitting on enough land with planning permission to build 225,000 new homes.

RTPI Director of Policy Rynd Smith said: \"The Minister is laying firm foundations for the planning system to tackle the issue of land banking, speed up delivery of new homes and clearly identify where land is being held and by whom.\"

\"The key issue remains quality. Unless and until the quality of new developments is raised to a consistently high standard, communities and their elected representatives will continue to resist the schemes of volume house-builders, with justification. Raising numbers means raising quality.\"

The RTPI report, 'Opening up the Debate: Housing Land Supply Myths', delivered a firm message to Government that a clear and standardised statistical base was needed to make the landholdings of developers more transparent. We are glad to see the Minister outlining plans to work with the house building industry, financial institutions, and the International Financial Reporting Standards Board to solve this problem.



For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Rynd Smith, RTPI Director of Policy and Communications, 0207 929 9478

Notes to Editors

1. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people. We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space. Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865

2 Opening up the debate: Housing Land Supply Myths: RTPI Evidence to the Callcutt Review