would penalties be an own goal?

Labour leader's plan for developers who 'hoard'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused some property developers of "hoarding" land and argues that too many firms with planning permission for projects are "sitting on land" as it gains value, instead of using it.


Moreover, in its bid to promote the building of much needed homes, Labour is also to consider giving councils more powers to penalise firms that do not proceed with building projects.

In response, however, the government has warned that any notion of confiscating land "will not help build a single house".

Alex Middleton, Chief Executive of Greenbelt Holdings Ltd, commented: "Land supply in any country is crucial for economic growth and stimulating wealth, so it does seem that any party 'sitting on' land and not using it effectively is really holding back on its potential to help the UK economy."

Greenbelt's Business Development Director Gareth J Davies added: "There is, however, a balance between an acceptable financial return on any new developments in order that profitability can be recognized, while achieving the financial hurdles required by developers funders and shareholders across the UK.

"The house building industry has fought hard to grow its new build volumes over recent months, return to profitability and reduce its borrowings, all running alongside the Governments initiatives.

"New outlets therefore have to be carefully managed by each developer to provide suitable product availability for the designated market, alongside competitors offerings to sustain the plot sales rates required. Land replacement programmes rely on 'controlled land' and, unless land with planning permissions can be secured, short and medium-term growth cannot continue"