CPRE joins with Shelter to push for change to the way land is valued

17th June 2019

We’ve joined with housing charity Shelter and 10 of the country’s top housing experts to push for urgent reform to the way land is valued.

A family at home posing for a photograph

Grounds for Change: the case for land reform in modern England is a collection of essays by leading figures in housing and planning, including an essay by our chief executive Crispin Truman. The publication marks the start of a campaign for a fairer way of trading land that could unlock England’s land market and build the homes the country needs.

Our call for change is backed up by evidence from a new Shelter survey of chief council planners in England, which shows the cost of land is the biggest barrier to council housebuilding.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: ‘Land is central to building homes – and high land prices have very real consequences for people and communities. Yet under our current system, agricultural land becomes 120 times more expensive simply from receiving residential planning permission.

‘How many and what kind of homes could we build if the cost of land was no longer a barrier?’

Crispin Truman, CPRE chief executive, said: ‘Our broken land market means that developments are increasingly sited where there is the greatest profit to be made, rather than in the most sensible and sustainable locations.

‘Profits from rising land values should be 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.’

As Crispin’s essay argued: ‘Land compensation reform could help give us higher quality developments on more sustainable sites. In the long run we would lose less countryside and enjoy better places.’