The UK’s Planning System is broken, doesn’t work for everyone, and needs fixing

I have just read this very good document from The Bartlett School of Planning at UCL London:

“5 Radical Ideas for a Better Planning System”.

Its basic thesis is that ‘the Planning System needs to rediscover its original purpose of delivering fairness and promoting collective wellbeing…..’, which is something I totally agree with.

The document from The Bartlett is well worth a read, and I agree with pretty much the whole of it, apart from the bit about annual Land Value Taxation the reasons for which I can explain if anyone is interested.

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3 Responses to The UK’s Planning System is broken, doesn’t work for everyone, and needs fixing

  1. Glad you like it Steven. I for one would like to hear why you are happy with annual LVT. Our intention was that it should be regular/repeating as distinct from a one-off levy.

    • stevenboxall says:

      Thanks Michael,

      I actually read ‘unhappy’ before you pointed out your typo.

      I don’t like the idea of an annual land value tax because it is not directly related to the ability to pay. Say you have been in a poor, untrendy, ill served area for many years which then goes up market – you are hit by a big annual tax bill which you can’t pay or struggle to pay and may be forced out of the home you have been in for years. I know some say that these people get a ‘free ride’ out of improvements in an area they haven’t paid for but, firstly did they ask for and are they benefitting from the improvements?, and secondly there are better and less complicated ways of capturing the increased value in their home such as when they sell/someone else buys or when they die. I have no real problem with a few ordinary people getting a ‘free ride’ for a while (call it ‘swings and roundabouts’) especially when the really wealthy get a ‘free ride’ all of the time. This is the short version of why I don’t like annual land value taxation – there is more but perhaps best done as a conversation; especially when I haven’t had it academically tested.

      I have no problem (or few) with the capture of increase in land value during the development process which the paper talks about – eg CPO at existing land use values with the increase in value going to infrastructure and the community instead of the landowner who has done nothing to earn it. Obviously nuances within this such as when dealing with the homes of individuals.

      Would be interested in your thoughts.


  2. Happy should have read unhappy, of course. Do change it if you can.

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