Ministers have been urged to introduce a new tax to discourage developers from holding back land in order to restrict the supply of new homes and drive up prices of those being released to buyers.
According to London Councils, the cross-party body which represents the capital’s 33 local authorities, in July there were 124,247 homes which had planning permission in London but which had not been built.
While it accepts not all new homes are being deliberately held back, the organisation says cracking down on undeveloped land held by developers could create 30,000 new homes in London.
Addressing a fringe event at the Labour Party conference, London Councils’ housing spokesperson Mayor Sir Steve Bullock called on the government to introduce an ‘undeveloped land tax’ to discourage landbanking.
Mayor Bullock said: “It’s frankly unacceptable that developers are hoarding land which could be used to build much needed homes for Londoners.
“With London’s population set to top nine million by 2021, we need to think radically about policy options to boost supply. Cracking down on landbanking could add 30,000 homes to London’s housing stock.”
The ‘undeveloped land tax’ is one of several proposals outlined in a London Councils discussion paper published to coincide with the party conference season. Other policy options include lifting restrictions on councils borrowing against their assets.
The paper is available here to download from londoncouncils.gov.uk.