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Housing and Planning Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Richard Bacon Richard Bacon Conservative, South Norfolk 5:45 pm, 2nd November 2015

Yes, there are far too few volume house builders. What we actually need is proper choice. I do not blame volume house builders for building when it is profitable to do so and not otherwise, but they can artificially restrict the supply of land and acquisition possibilities for others by not even buying the land, but by buying an option on the land. If they pay a farmer in my constituency £4,000 a year for 10 years for an option to buy the land, they can keep it off the market. The farmer can get 3.5 tonnes of winter barley or wheat off it so he is happy, and he gets the option money as well.

There is one thing that does not happen, however. A lady emailed me last year when my Bill was going through to say that she had spent five years looking for a piece of land, and that she was no further forward than she had been on the day she started. It seems as though, in this country, it will never be a middle-aged rite of passage to get a piece of land and build one’s own house, as it is in Germany.