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Roger Mortlock comment on hope halue

30 May 2023

Commenting on Labour proposals to reform ‘hope value’ rules under compulsory purchase orders, Roger Mortlock, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘Our current housebuilding model is broken. It leads to sprawling, piecemeal development, making a fortune for some landowners and developers and doing little to address the root causes of the affordability crisis affecting so many low and middle income families. Reforms to the way the land market operates could help to change all this.

‘Hope value needs to go. It’s one of the primary reasons no government in the past two decades or more has managed to build anything like enough genuinely affordable homes. Rural areas have a particularly acute problem of a lack of affordable housing. However, the devil will be in the detail, and these proposals must be focused on delivering a new generation of social housing.

‘It’s a big if – but if we can get meaningful land reform, it offers a better chance of building more of the homes that are desperately needed than the current system. The potential for this kind of development is huge. It could lead to the regeneration of urban brownfield sites in a way that meets the housing and transport needs of people who live and work in our cities.

‘We need well planned developments, where the profits from rising land values are invested in public green spaces, walking and cycling infrastructure, community facilities, and well-designed homes that people can afford to live in, rather than accruing primarily to landowners. Getting rid of hope value should slash the cost of land, making it easier to build attractive new homes that are carbon neutral or negative.’