The land and property market

Topics: BusinessStrategy

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Last updated: April 21, 2019

“The British Land-Use planning system constitutes one of the most comprehensive systems of government land-use regulation anywhere in the industrialized world” (Pennington M, 2002) Since the end of the 1940’s all land excluding Agricultural has had to follow the requirements of applying and obtaining Planning Permission due to the fact that development rights were nationalized.

Anyone whether it be commercial or private wanting to develop their land / property must apply to their local planning authority for planning permission.Whether planning permission is granted or not is based on that area’s land-use strategy which is set out in the local district plan or other unitary development plans. These plans are used by our country’s planners in order to try and obtain some sort of balance in the type of development that takes place in this country and also to ensure that these developments are potentially beneficial to the people that use them. Therefore if these regulations were taken away, and instead left to market forces, would developments still be in the best interests of the people and environment surrounding them?This can be argued to some extent because subsequent advantages would arise due to the deregulation of the market. For example, developers and contractors have applied for planning permission within the UK for quirky, exciting buildings which would push forward building technology and also include new architectural styles, but they have been refused due to the fact that they didn’t fit into current regulations for that area.

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If the land and property market was de-regulated developers would be able to build such building in the country, therefore giving a new twist and style to our towns and cities, but instead these building are being built abroad in other countries. Another benefit that would arise due to the de-regulation would be that developers wouldn’t have to pay the fees for obtaining planning permission for their given site. This could therefore mean that this reduction in cost could be reflected in the cost of building, and therefore in the cost for the consumer.Another area that I believe could be beneficial would be the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Produce). Currently 23% of the UK’s output is in the Property / Land market, and if this market was to be de-regulated then potential increases in output could be reached (Branford C, 2002). Finally another advantage I believe is that when demand for buildings, whether it be commercial or residential increases then developers would build the buildings in order to meet the demand, because they can build what they want, when they want.

Subsequently when demand was low, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the developer to build anything because that building / development might not get used or sold, therefore the developer would just build developments which are being demanded, e. g. residential. On the other hand “The common assumption underlying the continued political support of such comprehensive land-use regulations is that the allocation of land uses and of environmental resources more generally is ‘too important to be left to the market’. (Pennington M, 2002) I agree with this statement because we have found that, in most cases, we can leave commodities and such things up to market forces, whereas land is looked upon as a ‘special case’ because it is very important, and therefore cannot be trusted to operate efficiently if it were left to the market to operate freely.

This therefore leads me to believe that we should protect the essence of our towns and cities and leave these matters up to the state rather than ‘selfish individuals’.Further more, one of the most frequently sited arguments found in support for statutory planning is that people that are involved in the area are ‘only thinking about themselves’ and therefore shouldn’t be allowed free reign over the market. The land and property market I believe is an Oligopoly type market structure due to the fact that there are a few large firms which are operating at the top of the market.

The characteristics of an Oligopoly type market structure are few large firms / groups at the top of the market, they are price makers and also there are high barriers to entry and exit (Bamford C, 2002).If regulations were removed then you are running the risk of the market changing into a Monopoly due to the fact that developers / firms have got free choice to build where ever they want, and this can therefore have harmful effects on the consumer and everyday persons because prices could be higher and the amount of substitutes available could be lower. A Monopoly market structure includes characteristics such as 1 or 2 large firms / groups at the top of the market, very high barriers to entry and also price levels can be set to whatever they want (Bamford C, 2002).This would lead one to believe that the main motivator would be profit led, with little consideration to negative externalities that would be created for environmental resources and future generations. Other negative externalities that might be created if the market was de-regulated would be ‘Urban-Sprawl’ , a term used for towns and cities with a pattern of extensive outwards growth with little efficiency of the land being reached, and also the effects that would be created from the loss of ‘open spaces’ (Bamford C, 2002).

You could also see ‘countryside goods’ and other environmental amenities being under produced if competitive market forces were allowed a free reign. I also believe that we should have land and property regulations in place because if this wasn’t the case we could see a massive ‘boom’ in the supply of buildings, which would be far more than what was being demanded. This would subsequently push down the demand and prices of buildings and developments as illustrated in the diagrams below:Again yet another reason why I believe we should have regulations in place is because it has been suggested that planning can improve the information available to market participants.

Improving information on land-use trends, population figures, schools and hospitals allows us to increase levels of integration within communities and the environment and also allows us to avoid the cycles of ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ and inappropriate location choices. Finally land-use planning is important in the UK in-order for government regulations to ensure that those families on lower incomes can afford a greater degree of access to environmental quality.This is obtained by increasing measures to improve standards of living and quality of life, whilst at the same time moving economic activity in to these areas which are suffering from unemployment and other aspects of social deprivation, away from current locations which are becoming ‘over-heated’ (Pennington M, 2002). Over-heated is a term used for economic areas which have experienced fast economic growth, and that are now struggling to keep up with demand (resources are being stretched) (Bamford C, 2002).In conclusion I believe that the UK should have Land-Use and Property regulations in place, because if these regulations aren’t present then our countryside will start to be affected due to the effects of ‘Urban Sprawl’ and developers building where ever, when ever and to whatever size they want. If this happens then our country will loose the feel that it has, of fresh open fields that carry on for miles, because you will find developments all over the place which would start to make the country feel swamped.

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