Tuesday 6 December 2016

Builders should have to 'use it or lose it'

Published 30/08/2016 | 02:30

'The failure to build is now fuelling prices. Given the scale of need, sitting on sites can no longer be an option.' Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
'The failure to build is now fuelling prices. Given the scale of need, sitting on sites can no longer be an option.' Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

It is strange that in probably the first century that we were not in dispute with one interloper or another over control of our land, we don't quite know what to do with it. Having spent billions saving banks, another form of bank - the "land bank" - has emerged as a critical issue in meeting our housing needs.

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The Government is desperately trying to solve the housing crisis; but getting developers to crank up the diggers and get building again has proven problematic.

A new means of forcing their hands, whereby builders must either get cracking or see other nearby sites being given planning permission, and thus watch their investment being wiped out, is now being considered.

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