October 2008 Archives

Local Property Taxation as a Strategic Planning Tool in UK: Can 'Landvaluescape' Play a Role at Local Levels?

This is the title of an article published in the latest (August 2008) issue of Local Economy

The full article can be downloaded (on payment for non-subscribers) from here. The abstract is reproduced below.

ABSTRACT In common with many countries of the world, there are concerns within planning and regeneration circles regarding the very slow progress towards sustainable development and a realization that for progress to be achieved there is a need for government to act. Consequently, the UK government is seeking, through a variety of instruments, including the land use planning system, to mitigate the environmental impact of development. Indeed the overarching aim of the extant land use legislation (in particular, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Sustainable Communities Act 2007) is the promotion of sustainable communities, across the so-called "triple bottom line" of economic well-being, social justice and environmental protection. This paper discusses geo-political developments in the approach to funding local and regional government and how the UK is affected by these. The paper considers research in Britain into the potential for using aggregated property valuations as a method of monitoring economic health at a national and local scale, by applying geo-spatial modelling and display techniques. Given advances in the application of modern information systems (including the capture, management and display of geo-spatial data), the authors assess the potential of such systems for the status of relevant datasets in the UK.

A report published by English Partnerships (the national regeneration agency) last month, of a study in which Landvaluescape researcher Tony Vickers played a major part, shows the way towards a full National Land Use Database (NLUD). NLUD has long been seen by Tony as a pre-condition for land value taxation (LVT), because only when it is known officially what the most valuable potential use of every piece of land is can it be valued properly for LVT.

The purpose of the NLUD Scoping Study was merely to look at ways of monitoring the way in which brownfield (previosuly developed) land sites are passing through the planning system. However one of the main conclusions of the Study Team, from Kingston University (supported by The GeoInformation Group) was that brownfield sites need to be seen as part of a wider dataset of all sites of interest to planners and developers - perhaps even of all urban and peri-urban land.

The Executive Summary of the report can be downloaded here and the full report here.

Tolny Vickers was employed on a nine month contract three days a week by Kingston University School of Surveying, as the NLUD Study Researcher. He had commenced writing up his PhD thesis before the contract was awarded to Kingston, where his Director of Studies and Chair of C-SCAIPE has been using him as an occasional lecture on Green Taxes to students on European Real Estate and Planning MA courses. He is now completing his thesis prior to taking on further research projects..

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