House builders slam Labour’s land banking myth

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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Major house builders have savaged claims by Labour that they are sitting on land ripe for development to boost profits.

Their attack on Labour follows a party political broadcast last night where Ed Miliband accused big developers of sitting on hundreds of thousands of places for homes with planning permission to increase land values.

The Labour leader vowed he would get tough on big house builders and make ‘them do their bit’.

Trade body the Home Builders Federation dismissed the claims as unhelpful political rhetoric based on myth.

The outbreak of the war of words comes as house building becomes a key battleground for the political parties in the run up to the election.

A statement from the HBF said: “House builders completely reject the accusation that they hoard land that is capable of providing new homes .

“Three independent studies in the last decade, including most recently by the Office of Fair Trading, have all concluded house builders do not land bank.”

The latest HBF survey of larger home builders revealed that only 4% of plots with an implementable planning permissions were on sites where production had not yet started.

“The country faces a housing crisis that will take a collective effort to solve.

“It is unhelpful when political rhetoric centres on myths when the real challenge is how we increase housing supply.

“If we are to meet the new ambitious targets all parties are agreed are required, politicians need to work with the house building industry to address the constraints on housing supply.”

“We will continue to try and present the evidence to policymakers in a balanced and objective way so that we can overcome political expediency and get to grips with the issues that people actually care about.”

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