“Fifty companies own more than 1.3m acres of land in England and Wales, making up 3pc of the total, according to an investigation into the biggest landholdings in the country.
The biggest corporate landowner is United Utilities Water, which owns 140,124 acres. Utility companies make up eight of the 50 on the list.
Other big landowners include mining and quarrying companies, aristocratic estates and grouse moors, which make up 550,000 acres, three times the land that is currently used for housing in England. This is still far less than the amount of land owned by the state: the Ministry of Defence, for example, owns 494,210 acres in the UK, and has rights over a further 504,000 acres.
One house builder, Taylor Wimpey, is in the top 50, with 14,684 acres; the supermarket giant Tesco owns 11,743 acres of land, on which it may start to build mini villages with homes to help solve the housing crisis.
Also included on the list were companies owning farm businesses, such as Beeswax Farming (Rainbow) Limited, which has 21,891 acres, and is believed to be owned by Sir James Dyson. UK Power Networks, which owns sites such as electricity substations, came eighth on the list. …”