Magazine article Public Finance

Councils 'Should Give Land to Developers'

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils 'Should Give Land to Developers'

Article excerpt

Local authorities should give developers land to tackle a homes shortage that could reach 1 million next year, a report claimed this week.

Councils receiving grants for small developments will have only a limited impact on the problem in the short term, according to the study, published on September 29 by the Smith Institute and the Town & Country Planning Association. 1Ii will take time for local authorities that embark on new build programmes to develop their capacity as commissioners - let alone as developers and house builders,' said Mind the gap.

The report, launched at the Labour Party conference, also cast doubt on the effectiveness of local housing companies, under which land-owning councils join forces with private firms. 1It is unclear whether councils are best placed to bear the financial risks as masterdeveloper,' it said.

But it added that the LHC model, which was conceived when land values were rising, could be developed to allow authorities to offer land free to house builders in return for a stake in the development. The création of joint delivery vehicles would reduce the grant needed and overall costs.

To date, 49 councils hoping to build 2,200 homes have received £141m from the Homes and Communities Agency, including an extra £13. …

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