Labour Leader Ed Miliband puts developers on notice – no land banking under a Labour government.
Developers sitting on derelict land in the city centre are being urged to lay out plans to develop the land – in consultation with the council and the local community – following a pledge by Ed Miliband to give more power to local authorities to take land from developers who are leaving it to ruin.
City centre councillor Kevin Peel will be writing to the owners of empty plots of land in the city centre urging them to come to the table with their plans and stop sitting on their hands.
In his speech to the Labour Party conference, Ed Miliband said:
“We’ll say to private developers, you can’t just sit on land and refuse to build. We will give them a very clear message – either use the land or lose the land, that is what the next Labour government will do.”
City centre resident and campaigner Beth Knowles, who recently wrote for City Centre Voice on land use, said:
“It’s about time we looked at land use in the city centre. Local residents, businesses and the council need to work together to fill the voids we pass by every day in the centre and improve levels of much needed greenery at the same time.”
City centre councillor Kevin Peel said:
“It was great to hear Ed address this crucial issue in his conference speech. I’m fed up of walking past fenced off sites left to wreck and ruin by developers hoping to bleed more money out by sitting on the land for years.
“It’s time for developers to take note of the local community, come to the table with their plans and work with councillors, residents and the local authority to get moving on sustainable development.”
Labour has established a Housing Commission chaired by Sir Michael Lyons to develop a detailed policy ahead of the 2015 General Election. The Commission will look at legislation:
- to give local authorities proper compulsory purchase powers so that they can buy, assemble and grant planning permission on land that is being hoarded and is holding back development.
- to give Councils the power to charge developers escalating fees for sitting on land with planning permission to incentivise them to release the land. And if this doesn’t bite, they would be empowered to use compulsory purchase powers to release the land.