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Building Plots (Development Value)

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 28 April 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any further statement to make about the treatment of builders and owners of building plots under the financial provisions of the Town and Country Planning Acts.

Yes. It has previously been announced that persons owning building plots on 1st July, 1948, who start to build a house for occupation by themselves or an immediate relative by 7th January, 1952, will receive a payment from the £300 million equal to the development value of the plot for the erection of the house, and may have their development charge set off against that payment. It has been decided to extend the date for this arrangement from 7th January, 1952, to 1st January, 1953.In addition, special arrangements will be made for persons who on 1st July, 1948, owned a single building plot and no other building land. If such an owner is prevented from building a house on his plot because the plot is compulsorily acquired, or a previous planning permission is revoked, before 1st January, 1953, he also will be entitled to a payment from the £300 million equal to the development value in the plot for the erection of one house; and if he starts to build a house on another site before 1st January, 1953, he will be entitled to have the development charge set off against that payment, in so far as it is sufficient to cover the charge.These arrangements (a full payment from the £300 million and the right to have development charge set off against it) will also apply to an owner on 1st July, 1948, of a single building plot as above defined if he either sells the plot for immediate development and himself assumes liability for the payment of development charge, or himself builds a house on the plot and sells the site and house together at a price inclusive of charge, provided in either case that the charge is determined before 1st January, 1953.It has previously been announced that registered builders will receive a payment from the £300 million equal to the development value, and may set off against it development charge meanwhile incurred, in respect of an area of land equal to that which they developed during a five-year pre-war period. It has now been decided to extend this scheme beyond registered builders, and the Central Land Board have been given a discretion to apply it to developers of housing and industrial estates (such as most housing associations and some trading estates) who can satisfy them that it is their practice to assume full practical and financial responsibility for the construction of buildings on their own land and for their sale or letting when completed. These cases will have to be dealt with by individual application to the Board.All these arrangements apply with the necessary modifications to Scotland as well as England and Wales. The Central Land Board are about to issue fresh pamphlets explaining the arrangements in greater detail, and copies will be placed in the Vote Office.The closing date for the submission of claims against the £300 million is 30th June next, and I wish to emphasise that none of the concessions announced above can be of any effect if the owner concerned has not submitted his claim to the Central Land Board in time, since he will not then be entitled to any payment. I would also take this opportunity of emphasising that every owner on 1st July, 1948, of land which had a development value, whether or not he is likely to be affected by the arrangements now announced, should take immediate steps to ensure that his claim is submitted before it is too late.