Sunday 17 November 2019 5:47 pm

Berkeley Homes founder Tony Pidgley backs reforms to end land hoarding

Berkeley Homes chairman Tony Pidgley has backed an overhaul of property laws to end land hoarding in a bid to boost home ownership. 

Pidgley, the founder of the FTSE 100 housebuilding giant, said land owners and developers should work with local authorities on “planning uplift” to tackle the shortage of affordable homes. 

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Pidgley said the system is in “dire need of reform” in order for more homes to be built to solve the housing crisis.  

“We need a central body that buys land, awards planning permission, then passes on the returns to the local community,” he said, the Sunday Telegraph reported. 

“The whole of society should capture that value – it’s about decency.”

So-called land banking is the practice of buying up plots and securing planning permission to increase value without delivering on any new homes.

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Developers have come under increasing pressure over the practice, and council leaders have called for the state to secure a larger share of land value increase after planning permission is given. 

“We’re in the building business and that’s where we should compete, not in trading land – as long as there is room to make a decent margin on housebuilding,” Pidgley said in a new book, titled Home Truths. 

Main image credit: Getty