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Not sure which bit of your post is a quote and which is a question/statement, Micheal. Could you clarify?
The 'true value of the land'?
In short, according to whom? Land values are (rightly or wrongly- that's another debate) set by zoning. If it has agricultural zoning, it'll be woth less than residential zoning, but you can't presume that all agricultural land will eventually be rezoned as residential, if it'll be rezoned at all.
Other countries use systems such as permitting the local authority to purchase at existing use value, then rezoning, then selling on for development at a higher price. It means that the land value uplift is captured by the local authority for use in the public interest (in theory) instead of being pocketed by someone who happens to own the land by virtue of inheritance, or who has bought it based on its 'hope value' (my candidate for most reprehensible phrase of the year, btw).
And then there's Land Value Taxation (a system I don't understand fully), whereby undeveloped land is taxed according to its zoning in order to encourage its development once rezoned.
The bottom line here is that we have a very blunt instrument at our disposal which encourages land-banking (my second least favourite phrase), speculation, low quality development and personal profit maximisation. All of which is not necessarily to fault those who play the system to their advantage- the problem is the system, not the players.
- Old Master
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The reality in practice is that it is all about the zoning; the term existing use goes no interpretation other than the zoning of the land on the day that the landowner is notified of the intended purchase.
For example if a local authority served a notice to treat on a developer who was landbanking residential development land the authority would have to offer what another developer would pay for a similar tract of land as development land. There is no provision for a local authority to acquire land that is zoned for residential development at agricultural use value.
The case in Loughrea a few years ago where the local UDC rezoned land from agricultural to industrial in the full knowledge that the specific land would be CPO'd immenently for a road bypass is about the only major flaw in the current system.
- PVC King
Friday February 16th 2007
LOCAL authorities are to be given wide-ranging powers allowing them to seize undeveloped landbanks from property speculators for a fraction of the market price.
Under a 'use it or lose it' regime announced yesterday, developers sitting on land zoned for housing and serviced with roads and sewerage systems will be forced to apply for planning permission to build new homes or risk losing the land.
The new laws would allow county councils to issue a compulsory purchase order for the lands and pay 20pc less than the market value.
The move comes because the department believes there is almost 15,000 hectares of zoned and serviced land available, sufficient to build 460,000 homes, which is not being built on because developers are waiting for it to increase in price.
Under new legislation currently being drafted local authorities will be asked to identify areas of towns and cities which should be developed.
If a landowner in a 'development zone' refuses to submit a planning application, the council can compulsorily purchase their lands and develop housing themselves.
"There's been a large investment by the taxpayer in infrastructure. We want to see the land that is serviced to be built on as quickly as possible," said Environment Minister Dick Roche.
But the plans have been criticised by the Irish Home Builders Association, which said last night that none of its members were sitting on ready-to-go landbanks.
Given the demand for housing, no developer was going to tie-up capital in an unused landbank. In fact, many of its members were waiting for planning permission for unserviced sites, a spokesman for the association said. "In our experience there's no developer holding onto land," Hubert Fitzpatrick said.
"In the current climate, they want to build."
A new house purchase scheme for people living in council housing was also announced by Housing Minister Noel Ahern.
The Incremental Purchase scheme will allow local authority householders to purchase a minimum stake of 20pc in their new home when it's allocated, and then pay extra rent of 2pc of the house price every year to build up their equity.
Â© Irish Independent
http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/ & http://www.unison.ie/
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