Letters to the editor - 23/07 - Perverse taxation, Best of Twitter

Perverse taxation

[Re: How hidden taxes and levies are pushing up UK house prices, yesterday]

What many don’t realise is that the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) can also apply to brownfield sites, even though many involve additional clearance costs and most have infrastructure in place already. It can also apply to derelict sites once they have been left empty for as little as six months. It can take over a year to acquire, survey, design and finance a derelict redevelopment, so that drags in nearly all changes to building use. Since the CIL has to be paid before development starts, and since brownfield sites tend to have more hidden problems that add to the risks for a developer, the CIL can peversely incentivise development on greenfield sites.

Name withheld

Although taxes on property development are a problem, the real evil is the planning system. When developers were able to simply approach neighbours with cash compensation for development, homes got built – and often better quality ones. Who does not like Victorian terraces and 1920s semis? All were built in their millions before planning was nationalised under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1948.

John Moss

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