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Community Land

Volume 934: debated on Monday 27 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the actual financial benefit to local authorities in buying 1,571 acres of land for £12·1 million in 1976–77 net of development land tax; what was the total assessed tax; and how the benefit is being distributed, in accordance with the provisions of the Community Land Act 1975.

The actual benefit to authorities of buying land net of development land tax will not be known until firm tax assessments are available at a later date. Most purchase prices of land bought in the last financial year were calculated on estimates of the tax liability. With regard to the last part of the Question, it is not the benefit of purchasing net of development land tax which is distributed but any cash surplus in community land accounts at the end of the financial year. These accounts will not be received in the Department until later this year, but because most purchases were made very late in 1976–77, little land was disposed of in that financial year and there will therefore be few surpluses in the accounts.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many of the 729·6 acres acquired by local authorities under the Community Land Act 1975 for industry have subsequently been resold to developers, or let directly to clients; what were the total receipts by way of premium and rental income; and by how much the £54 million acquisition cost exceeds the receipts;(2) how many of the nine acres acquired by local authorities under the Community Land Act 1975 for commer cial purposes have subsequently been resold to developers or let directly to clients; what are the total receipts by way of premium and rental income; and by how much the £0·44 million acquisition cost exceeds the receipts;(3) what proportion, both as a numeri cal figure and as a percentage, of the 832·4 acres of land acquired for housing under the Community Land Act last year was intended for: (

a) council housing, ( b) housing associations and ( c) private development; how much has subsequently been resold in categories ( b) and ( c); for what total price; and by how much the £6·25 million acquisition cost exceeds the receipts.

Provisional figures from authorities show that disposals up to the end of 1976–77 were:

  • Land for industry—nil.
  • Land for commerce—nil.
  • Land for housing—29 acres.
Financial information about the disposals so far made is not yet available.The figures of land acquisitions referred to by the hon. Member relate to land bought primarily for disposal for private development. It is understood that little land intended for council housing was included.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether part of the nine acres acquired by local authorities under the Community Land Act 1975 for commercial purposes in 1976-77 included any existing shops or office blocks which were acquired solely for reselling.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, pursuant to the reply of the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Barnett) on 15th February, he is now in a position to state the date by which he will require local authorities, arising from paragraph 5 of GNLA/2, to reduce their staffing and administrative costs in respect of the Community Land Act 1975 to 1976–77 levels; and whether he will make a statement.

Revised forecasts of staff and administration costs for 1977–78 have been received from most authorities. When necessary my Department is discussing the expenditure levels proposed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment for what proportion of the land acquired by local authorities for (a) housing (b) industry and (c) commerce specific proposals already existed for a local authority to acquire prior to the enactment of the Community Land Act 1975, and had been notified accordingly to the regional offices of his Department; and what proportion were wholly new proposals as a result of the Act.