Agricultural land is currently worth an increasing amount of money as it is seen as an investment opportunity, what with pressure on land for woodfuel and food.
Prices everywhere are at an all time high making land an asset affordable only by the rich or institutions.
Opportunities for communities and smallholders, and new entrants to farming, are getting fewer.
By converting our tax system to a land and resource rental model there will be no incentive to develop wild land and farmland as you will have to start paying hugely greater taxes on it.
Land that is granted planning permission will mean the community will benefit from the increased tax take and not the landowner. At present landowners benefit from massive un taxed capital gains if we allow planning permission.
Landowners should benefit for the improvements they make to land and the quality of the developments they make to the land, which is not taxed in a rental model I have outlined, just the underlining value of the land. The underlining value of land is created by the hard work of the community at large and the planning designation given to the land, both of which have nothing to do with the landowner. So only the landowners own hard work will be rewarded for using land wisely and appropriately to the community’s needs.
The value associated to land that has been granted planning permission by the community should belong to the community. This will be harvested by a rental charge on the value of land. This source of taxes should be used to cut harmful taxes such as those on rural jobs and trade.(National Insurance, income tax, corporate tax and vat). With less harmful taxes on wages and trade, our economy would grow and extensive farming would be more economically viable.
All of the world’s greatest economists, from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman have recommended this, Even Einstein was a huge supporter of Land and resource rents as an economic system. Tolstoy wrote a book about it, ‘Resurrection’.
Also the Government's budget announcement that the default for planning applications is to allow them, means that every landowner in the country will now be thinking about how much money they can make from paddocks and fields around the edges of villages and towns. This will further cause land prices to escalate and make initiatives like community farms and allotments impossible.
See the RTPI website for their views on the announcement.
The planning system is now in disarray, and there will be a developer free for all.