HC Deb 27 January 1953 vol 510 c821
14. Mr. Gibson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that land prices have, in some cases, trebled since the abolition of the development charge; and what steps he proposes to take to stop such practices.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I have very little evidence that unreasonable prices are being asked for land. It is to be remembered that vendors can no longer expect anything from the £300 million fund and that developers no longer have to pay development charge; some increase in price may therefore be justified in some cases.

As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to paragraphs 37 and 38 of Command Paper 8699; and to the powers which housing authorities are already exercising to make land available to private housebuilders.

Mr. Gibson

That circular does not in the least deal with the problem. Is the Minister aware that I have an instance of a group of self-help builders who negotiated for a piece of land in Surrey at a price of £3,700 and immediately the development charge was abolished the price jumped to £11,000? Does he regard that as reasonable, and in view of the fact that it is three times the original price, and therefore cannot include a development charge which surely would not be 300 per cent., does he not think it necessary for the Government to take some steps in the matter?

Mr. Macmillan

Without knowing what was the claim on the fund and, therefore, the difference between the existing use value and the total value, I could not answer, but the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends have a remedy, because they are still in time to vote against the Third Reading of the Bill which will abolish the development charge.

Back to