Letwin review 'to recommend land value capture measures'

A claim that Sir Oliver Letwin's review of build out rates will recommend that councils are 'able to strip landowners of large portions of profits from the sale of their land' features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that the Letwin review, to be published alongside next week’s Budget, will "endorse controversial calls for the state to ‘capture’ more of the increase in value of sites when they are granted planning permission". "Sir Oliver Letwin, the former minister carrying out the review, is expected to recommend that local authorities should be able to seize greater amounts of landowners’ profits in order to fund the construction of local infrastructure such as roads and affordable homes", the paper says.

Times (subscription) columnist Mark Littlewood argues that "cash handouts for Nimbys would remove an obstacle to housebuilding". He writes: "At present, Nimbys are acting rationally. Housebuilding in their area is likely to exert downward pressure on property prices and stretch public services for no obvious personal gain. A sizeable and direct financial handout would radically alter their attitude."

An article in The Financial Times (subscription) asks whether the construction industry is having a technologically disruptive "Uber moment". The article says that "off-site modular manufacturing seen as the solution to sector’s productivity problem". The paper says that "technology giants such as Amazon and Google are already circling the [construction] industry, with the online retailer buying a flat-pack housebuilder in California last month and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, buying factory-made homes for employees and launching a development project in Toronto through a subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs".

The Guardian reports that Lord Porter, the chairman of umbrella body the Local Government Association, has said that he wants to "set forth a million builders" and give residents a role in the design and construction of as many as 100,000 new council-built homes. The paper says that, "rather than councils simply commissioning volume housebuilders to erect all of the new homes, Porter said many town halls want to work directly with future tenants to design and construct some of the properties".

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