The head of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, Rob Tincknell, has issued a rallying call to property industry bosses, saying they must join forces to fight rises in stamp duty.
Speaking to property developers and investors gathered at Mipim, a global property conference in Cannes, Tincknell said that he was forming a group to battle stamp duty rises that have been issued by the Treasury, and that hundreds of people in the industry had committed to joining him in the effort.
Former chancellor George Osborne rocked the property industry when he raised the rates of stamp duty on homes worth over £1m. The government has also introduced a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on people buying second homes, in a bid to deter buy to let landlords.
There has been a substantial knock-on effect to properties in central London. Prices on high-end homes in Chelsea, for example, have fallen by more than 10 per cent, and some analysts are expecting further falls this year.
Many in the property industry were hoping chancellor Philip Hammond would row back on stamp duty reforms in his most recent Budget, but he steered clear of the controversial policy.
The property world has now descended on Cannes, and Tincknell has used the opportunity to galvanise the sector. Speaking to City A.M., he said that after the speech he was handed at least 12 business cards from people wanting to see the policy changed.
Tincknell said that so far the Treasury complained that property groups have not provided a united front, and that there is too much opposing data to support the argument that the stamp duty system must be changed. The main aim of Tincknell's new task force will be to unify the industry's response to the reforms.