4 thoughts on “Why greenbelt reform is not a lost cause”

  1. Posted 25/09/2015 at 11:47 | Permalink

    If the value freeholders get from planning regulations are capitalised into land values, why not get them to pay for them? That way, by internalising all the economic and spatial externalities that gives location its value the market can operate efficiently. Ending excessive vacancy, under occupation and land banking. Furthermore, shouldn’t people be given the choice of whether they want to pay for the value they get from planning regulations? Niemietz’s position of knowing what is best of the consumer by abolishing something that gives people economic welfare seems at odds with the ideals of free choice. By aligning incentives issues like housing affordability sort themselves out. We wouldn’t even need a Greenbelt.

  2. Posted 25/09/2015 at 12:01 | Permalink

    You mean private restrictive covenants? I’d be OK with that.

  3. Posted 25/09/2015 at 12:04 | Permalink

    in fact, I had no idea of the extent of the greenbelt until the IEA meeting with Paul Cheshire recently. I knew it existed and was a problem but I did not realise that it was so big. I had thought that local authorities stopped development on much more general grounds.

  4. Posted 26/09/2015 at 11:47 | Permalink

    Urban sprawl is a symptom of a free market. It would not be a feature of an efficient market where freeholders would pay rent (in lieu of taxes), instead of imputing it. It is the free lunch of imputed (land) rent that leads to overconsumption and misallocation. Causing urban sprawl, vacancy, under occupation and the need for Greenbelt planning regulations in the first place. So, how about treating the problem rather than blaming symptoms? Then we can happily scrap the Greenbelt, having made housing affordable at the same time.

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