Why land tax is only solution to undeveloped sites and housing crisis in Dales

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

How can the housing shortage in the Yorkshire Dales be resolved? Photo: James Hardisty.

Read More

Read More
Come to Yorkshire Dales and help build the homes we need to thrive – Carl Lis

THERE are many sites with planning permission already granted but not built on (The Yorkshire Post, March 20).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This is a national problem. Too often developers hold on to sites, hoping values will rise, rather than getting on with building homes.

Developers appear reluctant to build new houses in rural areas - despite being granted planning permission.

The Institute of Economic Affairs is ideologically opposed to any planning and would be happy to see the countryside desecrated in the name of free markets.

Hence their complaints that planners are at fault, which is far from the truth.

Unfortunately their ideas have influence in Conservative circles, though I think many of the party’s grassroots members would be horrified by them.

One solution would be land value taxation.

It reflects that once planning permission is given the value or a site increases enormously giving an incentive to develop sites. The idea is hardly so-called ‘leftie’ lunacy.

It was proposed by the American Henry George in the 19th century and the American free market economist Milton Friedman, who inspired Margaret Thatcher, considered it the only efficient tax. Ironically I learned that at an Institute of Economic Affairs meeting.