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Planning (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (Day 2)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2019.

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Photo of Alex Rowley Alex Rowley Labour

Amendments 212 and 215 require ministers, within 18 months of the bill receiving royal assent, to lay regulations to facilitate land value capture. Legislation to facilitate land value capture—or “land value sharing”, as the Scottish Land Commission has usefully termed it—is not a silver bullet that will solve our current housing supply crisis. We need to adopt a much more proactive approach to public interest-led development across the board and enable our public bodies to take the lead in major developments. However, land value sharing could play a key role in that process.

It is deeply disappointing to see the Tories and the Government teaming up to remove one of the transformative amendments to the bill from stage 2. It should not have been beyond the Government to resolve the legal change that would have been required to make land value sharing possible. Labour is giving the Government an opportunity to cement its support for the principle of land value sharing and to commit to providing the legislative framework to make it possible. We approached the Government before the deadline for lodging amendments and stated that we were open to considering its comments and to extending the timeframe if it was willing to support our amendments, so we do not accept timing as an explanation for its refusal to accept them.

The Government has failed to make formal responses to the Scottish Land Commission’s brilliant recent report on land value sharing and to say whether it accepts the report’s recommendations, so it can hardly blame Labour for starting to question its commitment to the concept.