PLANNING PROBLEMS www.thetimes.co.uk
Sir, The housing plans Paul Arnott protests against (letter, Apr 10) are the perverse outcome of the development policies that politicians have created. The planning system is so difficult and expensive to navigate that only big corporate house builders can afford to do it, and to recoup the money spent on permissions they have to build chicken coops with minimal design and an imperative to make as much money as possible.
My parents live in a leafy road on the Wirral, backing onto fields. The local corporate landowner has applied for planning permission for its several thousand acres. The local authority has refused, but the decision will inevitably go to court and be overturned by some secretary of state or another. The plan will go ahead and the shoeboxes will be built.
This inevitably ends in a situation that satisfies no one. First-time buyers are disappointed, striving move-uppers are disappointed and existing residents are outraged.
Little Sutton, South Wirral
Sir, It is high time that the chancellor introduced a land tax to share more equally the massive increase in value that accrues to land once planning permission has been granted. A fair levy on “planning uplift” would discourage speculation and land banking, and the revenue raised could be directed to councils and housing associations to build the social rented accommodation that is so needed.