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Miliband targets land banking in building drive

Ed Miliband will warn developers to ‘use it or lose it’ if they continue sitting on land with planning permission under his government.

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In a speech to Labour’s national policy forum this Thursday the party leader will announce plans to give local authorities power to serve compulsory purchase orders on developers.

Town halls will also be able to levy fees on land that sits unused for years despite being approved for development, under the proposals.

He will point out permission for 400,000 homes – an area the size of Birmingham – has been granted with no work carried out.

He will say: ‘Across our country there are firms sitting on land waiting for it to accumulate in value and not building on it.

‘Landowners with planning permission will simply not build. If there is unnecessary hoarding developers should be encouraged to do what they are in business to do – build homes.

He will add: ‘All options should be on the table, including giving local authorities real power to say to the worst offenders that they should either use the land, or lose the land.’

He will claim the lack of house building cannot be blamed on local councils, saying the latest statistics show 82 per cent of planning applications for major residential applications over 10 units were approved by local authorities.

In a speech designed to mark a commitment to house building, he will say government have failed to build enough homes for generations, but his party is committed to changing that.


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Miliband challenged to learn about house buildingMiliband challenged to learn about house building

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