Berkeley says that it is building on every site for which it has planning permission and providing work for thousands.
Labour Party policy is to nationalise any land that housing developers are to slow to build out. Labour leader Ed Milliband has famously said: “We’ll say to private developers, you can’t just sit on land and refuse to build. We will give them a very clear message – either use the land or lose the land; that is what the next Labour government will do.” It is a line that is expected to be repeated in the run up to the general election in May.
In a trading statement today, Berkeley Group made clear that land hoarding accusations were unfounded, in its case at least, and took the opportunity to add its own tuppence-worth to the political debate.
The company said: “The delivery of new housing is central to many debates in advance of the general election, and there is an acknowledgement across the board that there is an undersupply of new housing. Berkeley is in construction on 64 sites across London and the South of England, employing some 12,000 people on these sites every day. All of our sites that have an implementable planning consent are in construction.”
It added: “Policies adopted by the government in power after the election need to continue to encourage the investment necessary to fund the delivery of new homes and places, and a stable operating environment in terms of regulation, taxation and planning is crucial to this.”