Have we just found the solution to the UK’s housing crisis?


The Government should make councils the central dealing point of the housing market to fix Britain’s housing crisis, said think tank Adam Smith Institute (ASI) yesterday.

If the UK’s Government allowed councils to buy land, grant planning permission and then sell it off, the current housing crisis could be fixed a lot sooner, the think tank states.

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The president of the think tank as well as the author of the report, Mark Pirie, both agreed that devolving power to local councils could help yield £30bn to pay for public services.

The study quoted some estimates and revealed that one of them showed that an acre of land had a value of £2,500 prior to planning permission and £4m afterwards.

If councils were to grant permission to land they owned, they could “capture the monetary benefits” and support themselves as well as local residents in return.

The “planning gain” the financial uplift a field gains after it received planning permission, currently lies anywhere between one hundred to two hundred times of the field’s original value.


However, local communities currently don’t receive this uplift, which is one of the main reasons why they oppose new developments so strongly. All they will do is lose from new houses being built close to them.

Executive director at the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, explained:

“Not only would a system like the one we’re proposing make house building much easier in the places it’s needed most, it would create a large and lucrative source of revenue for local government. That would truly be a win/win for everyone: more houses, more money for locals, and less of a drain on central government which can redirect some of the money saved to other areas.”

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Have we just found the solution to the UK’s housing crisis?

Have we just found the solution to the UK’s housing crisis?


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