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RTPI's letter to the Guardian on a fair deal for land

12 October 2015

The RTPI has urged the UK Government to put in place a mechanism whereby a proportion of the increase in land value associated with public investment in infrastructure or planning permission, is used to fund public goods. The call was made in a joint letter, published in The Guardian, signed by the RTPI and ten other natonal built environment organisations including the National Housing Federation and the Adam Smith Institute today. 

151011 Guardian Housing Crisis Letter

The letter reads:

The level of the annual shortfall in housing delivery suggests that a step change is needed in the very mechanisms whereby houses are delivered (Crisis, what housing crisis? We just need fresh thinking, 1 October). This, however, is not just about building houses; it’s about place creation, which means delivering social, environmental and physical infrastructure alongside housing.

In the present climate we cannot look only to public spending to do this. It is time to look for additional funding from the windfall in value which goes directly to private landowners when public  investment in infrastructure is made, or planning permission is granted on a piece of land. There needs to be a fairer way of sharing this land value uplift between landowners and the community, to fund the housing and infrastructure the country needs. As a coalition we are asking for the UK government to put in place a mechanism whereby a proportion of this increase in land value is used to fund public goods. It’s time to tap into this source of additional public funding. It’s time for a fair deal on land.

Trudi Elliott Chief executive officer, Royal Town Planning Institute
Tom Papworth Senior fellow, Adam Smith Institute
Campbell Robb CEO, Shelter
David Orr Chief executive, National Housing Federation
Kate Henderson Chief executive officer, Town and Country Planning Association
Jon Sparkes Chief executive, Crisis
Terrie Alafat Chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing
Stephen Howlett Chief executive, Peabody
Mark Walton Executive director, Shared Assets
Sue Percy Chief executive, Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
Caroline Julian Head of policy programmes, ResPublica