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Miliband launches attack on developers

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Labour party leader Ed Miliband has launched a fresh attack on housebuilders sitting on land

In a party political broadcast Miliband slammed house builders for sitting on ‘hundreds of thousands of places for homes with planning permission’ and pledged to ‘break up the power of big developers’.

He said: ‘We’ve got to break the power of the big developers because they are sitting on hundreds of thousands of places for homes with planning permission and not building because they are waiting for it to accumulate in value.

‘So we’re going to get tough with them and say you can’t just sit on the land. Government’s got to make them do their bit.’

But speaking to AJ sister-title Construction News the Home Builders Federation has said it ‘completely rejects the accusation’ that they hoard land capable of providing new homes.

A spokesman for the organisation said three independent studies had ‘all concluded housebuilders do not land bank [with] further recent evidence that supports this conclusion.’

‘In HBF’s most recent survey of the larger homebuilders, only 4 per cent of plots with an implementable planning permissions were on sites where production had not yet started’, the HBF spokesman said.

‘The country faces a housing crisis that will take a collective effort to solve. It is unhelpful when political rhetoric centres on myths when the real challenge is how we increase housing supply.

‘If we are to meet the new ambitious targets all parties are agreed are required, politicians need to work with the housebuilding industry to address the constraints on housing supply.’

The attack comes just days after the Labour party announced a raft of new measures aimed at building 200,000 new homes a year by 2020.

The plans, which were announced at the party’s annual conference, proposed New Homes Corporations, which would give communities powers to work with private sector partners and housing associations to build out sites.

The proposals were the first to emerge from the Labour-commissioned Lyons Housing Review, which is due to publish its report later this year.

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