Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:40 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Will Tanner:

As the Minister will know, Onward’s first ever paper looked at this issue in some detail. As the Committee will know, at the stroke of a planner’s pen, the value of a piece of land can go up 100-fold. There is an opportunity for the UK to do much more to capture the gains from development in a way that other countries, such as the Netherlands, do more systematically. The Bill goes some way towards doing that through the simplification and clarification of when local authorities can use CPO powers, which will hopefully make CPO more widespread.

I think the greatest opportunity lies in the clarification of what constitutes fair market value. That is a relatively contested area of policy; there are lots of different views from different areas. I thoroughly welcome the proposed Law Commission review into this area of legislation more generally, because I think legislation has spread over a number of years. However, there is an opportunity for the UK to more systematically capture those gains for development, and allow local authorities to buy and assemble land—especially with regard to ransom strips and small plots that hold up development—to capture those gains for public benefit. So I am supportive in principle but keen to see a bit more detail.