Shadow chancellor moots small-scale 'collective ownership' of land

A report that the shadow chancellor has said he wants to see the 'collective ownership of land' features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that, in a speech earlier this week, Labour's John McDonnell said he wants to "encourage more community land trusts — a form of mutual society — to own property and develop low-cost homes". He also said he wanted to see "the collective ownership of land", the paper says. But the FT adds that McDonnell’s spokesman "played down the idea that Mr McDonnell was even hinting at land nationalisation. Instead he was proposing ‘small scale’ policies to empower local communities to get involved in local development, he said".

The Telegraph reports that, guest editing an issue of Country Life magazine to make his 70th birthday, the Prince of Wales has written a 1,960-word letter "in which he warns that the countryside and its people cannot be taken for granted". In the letter, the prince writes: "I have spent 40 years of my life trying to warn of the dangers - let alone the waste of money - of losing a vital sense of balance, in so many areas that impact, for example, on the countryside, on the marine environment, and on the planning and design of the urban environment. I have now lived long enough to see it all beginning to change - but at what cost?"

The Times (subscription) reports that "ministers are under pressure to impose cutbacks" to the High Speed Two rail project after a report warned that it would cost more than double that of other high-speed rail projects across Europe. The paper says that the report, "by the auditors PWC, admitted that HS2 was ‘materially different’ to high-speed rail schemes elsewhere in the world because of the UK’s population density, the high cost of land, the number of stops and the fact that it would link directly into main cities".

The Times also reports that "one of Britain’s largest listed property companies is preparing £3 billion of developments to start after Brexit — but only in the event of a ‘good deal’". The paper says that "Landsec, which has been cautious on new developments since 2014 and halted speculative development after the referendum, said it planned to build more than 1,700 homes and develop £2 billion of primarily speculative office developments in London".

A feature in the FT examines the "race to mine the deep sea’s riches". The paper says that "miners want to tap subsea deposits of cobalt and other rare metals, but scientists worry about the possible environmental damage".

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