Community land: Proposals for a local authority land scheme, based on a financial study of the Community Land Act, 1975

Allinson, J. S (1980) Community land: Proposals for a local authority land scheme, based on a financial study of the Community Land Act, 1975. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

From an analysis of the financial arrangements of the Community Land Act, this dissertation proposes an alternative framework for a local authority land scheme. The Community Land Act, which enabled local authorities to take development land into public ownership in order to ensure that its development was in the best interests of "the community", was passed by a Labour Government in 1975 and vigorously opposed throughout its existence by the Conservative Party. Chapter 1 outlines the political controversy that surrounded the Act's operation. Its dismantling and imminent repeal by the new Conservative Government comes as no surprise; but the Government stresses that this is on the grounds of its impracticality and not of political opposition. The retention of a high level of Development Land Tax (introduced a year later than the Community Land Act and designed to return a proportion of increases in land values to the community), and of the Land Authority for Wales (an executive body set up to implement the Land Act in the Principality), together with the establishment of Urban Development Corporations (redevelopment bodies to be equipped with broad powers of land acquisition and management), seem to indicate that the Conservative Party is not opposed in principle to public ownership of development land or at least a part of development value. The Government cites the Community Land Act's poor financial performance with respect to the amount of land it provided for development as the reason for its unacceptability. Thus perhaps a practical land scheme would enjoy acceptability and, unlike the Central Land Board of 1947 and the Land Commission of 1967, whose histories are outlined in chapter 2, would survive the short terms of party political power. This is felt to be particularly important to Planning as access to the ownership rights over development land gives the Planner the opportunity to see his proposals implemented in a positive way rather than negatively through existing development control mechanisms. The criteria for practicality and acceptability of a local authority land scheme are thought to be administrative efficiency and effectiveness of implementation and it is believed that both can be fulfilled through the provision of an adequate financial framework. The financial discipline introduced by the Community Land Act is classified in chapter 3 and examined in terms of three "Key Areas". The first of these deals with the administration of Central Government loan sanctions for the commencement of programmes; the second, with the operation of the Community Land Accounts for the continuation of programmes; and the three, with the division of surpluses and financing of deficits on the completion of programmes. For their analysis in chapter according to the experience of six local authorities in a variety of circumstances, another "Key Area"; of land dealing practices before and during the operation of the Community Land Act; is added. The study is carried out principally by means of Questionnaire sur*vey of Council Financial Officials. On the basis of the analysis, conclusions are drawn in chapter 5 as to the suitability of the Land Act's financial arrangements to local authority land dealing, and recommendations are made in chapter 6 for the efficient administration and effective implementation of a future land scheme. If the financial framework of any such scheme is sound, it is thought that survival at the least will be assured and the Planning Profession will be given the opportunity of a fair trial in that which may have been its intended form of operation.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Jean Forbes
Keywords: Area planning & development, Land use planning
Date of Award: 1980
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1980-74165
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74165

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