not the Barker housing report
- NOT THE O.D.P.M. BARKER REPORT
THE HOUSE NEEDY ARE 347 TIMES WORSE OFF TO-DAY THAN THEY WERE IN 1947 WHEN
THE ACT TO PLAN FOR THEIR HOUSES WAS MADE.
THE PRIME ROLE OF A PLANNING ACT IS NOT PROTECTION OF THE COUNTRYSIDE FROM
DESPOLIATION BUT PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE FROM EXPLOITATION BY LANDOWNERS
ADDED TO THE CURRENT HOUSING CRISIS IS AN EXTREME DEMOCRATIC CRISIS
Extract from the Town & Country Planning Bill, 1947
"The T & C Planning Act, 1932 enabled local authorities to prepare
planning schemes and the Town and Country Planning (Interim Development
) Act 1943 extended interim development control throughout the country��
The defects of this system are ; it is static, planning schemes having the
force of law and being difficult to alter; it is localised; local
authorities are not obliged to prepare plans; and it is negative.
The Bill replaces the Planning scheme with a more flexible development
In order to give positive powers for executing plans by making land
available local authorities will be given wider powers to by (sic) land
compulsorily for leasing to the private developer , and be able to
designate for compulsory purchase land likely to be required within ten
years for development by governing departments, local authorities and
So far planning has been governed by short term financial
considerations The Uthwatt Committee argued that over valuation due to
floating value produces an aggregate value two or three times greater than
the value based on actual possibilities . The burden of compensation falls
on the individual authority , which may not be able to bear it, so that
local authorities have tried to keep shifting values in their own areas
and have had to allow building in too haphazard a manner. Under the Bill no
development may take place without consent and where permission is refused,
there is no right to compensation But if no compensation were paid hardship
might be caused , and �300mn will be set aside out of which payments will
be made to owners."
It is worth comparing the situation prior to the 1947 Act with the actual
A major reason (SEE ABOVE) for introducing the 1947 Act was the
impossibility of local authorities buying land for houses which jumped two
or three times in value when it was needed for development.
To-day, in spite of the Act, land jumps in value by typically three hundred
and fifty seven times .
This is based on the 2004 figures of the Inland Revenue comparing the
average price of agricultural land at
At �3,500 per acre with that of development land with planning
permission at �1,250,000 per acre
Because Local Authorities no longer build Council Houses the burden now
falls directly on the private housebuyers. In so far as houses are out of
reach of people even on average salaries, let alone unfunded people in poor
, inadequate (or with no) houses, it has been shifted from Authorities to
By another count the cost of a building site has risen by a multiplier of
4,000. The 357:1 ratio underestimates the increase in site value, because
the present basis is a comparison with agricultural land which itself has
increased because of the �3 billions pumped into it annually by the C.A.P.
since 1973. A truer measure of the increase price of building site over
the years would be of the order of four thousand to one c.f. the increase
in house price by 'only' 11:1 since 1927 ( comparisons are for an estate
of houses in Exeter.)
The conclusion is that Government has withdrawn from vulnerable people
their protective umbrella against exploitation. So added to the
Housing Crisis is a democratic crisis.
The Barker Report takes a lot of highly educated people, a lot of time,
366 pages at a cost of several �million and fails to pinpoint the cause of
the housing crisis as the illegal monopoly of land with p.p. used against
the public interest to jack up house prices, and fails to suggest the
cure which will save both the Government �billions annually and
Housebuyers �thousands individually , which is to redirect the planning
permission for houses to the house needy not to the landowner , and to
encourage community- and self-build by giving individuals preference over
Companies for planning permission for new houses.
James Armstrong 3rd March 2004