Nice countryside you\’ve got here

But the final prize must be the inclusion of the South Downs in our necklace of national properties. The squires and megafarmers of Sussex must forget fears about ramblers and regulations and open up their countryside. As Wordsworth said of the Lakes: “Every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy.”

Guess we\’ll just have to steal it from you.

10 thoughts on “Nice countryside you\’ve got here”

  1. Please don’t add discounts to a LVT. Within 10 years we will have all kinds of discounts for special interests and for social engineering. If land has added value for tourism, then LVT will charge for that appropriately. It is then up to the land owner to either develop the tourist access or not. If we need access across someone’s land to get somewhere else (e.g. to make a new road), then go through the hassle of compulsory purchase if necessary.

  2. Ed,

    Thanks for your reply. I personally view LVT as the price paid for the right to exclude, i.e. monopoly use of the area. So it’s consistent to me that less exclusivity = lower LVT rate. I do get your point on Special Interest drift, although I think that the Citizens will want to keep the Citizens Dividend high, and thus fight special pleading.

  3. There’s no need to work out a special discount. A hundred acres with exclusive possession and no rights of way is worth more than one crossed with ancient rights of way.

    Notwithstanding the fact that farmland is of such low value that it’s hardly worth taxing, if people desperately want new rights of way across a local farm, the council has to agree what those rights of way are worth. The farmer might be happy to accept a £500 reduction in his LVT in exchange for everybody else in the area paying an extra £1 on their LVT.

    Or the farmer might say the rights of way are worth £10,000, so everybody else in the village would have to pay an extra £20. They might decide it isn’t worth £20 each, so the farmer just pays the extra tax on £10,000 and the other villagers pay a bit less.

    In a free-ish market, it would all even out in the end.

  4. “The squires and megafarmers of Sussex must forget fears about ramblers and regulations and open up their countryside.”

    Or what? Line them up against the wall and give them a last cigarette?

  5. The wall would be classed as the working environment for their executioner/s.

    Why leave it at just landowners? What makes a view and some sods of earth more acceptable to steal than Tristram Hunt’s own home?

  6. Diogenes nails it. I’d love to see a rambler try his luck walking through the homes of any of these people.

    I see the land value tax folk still imagine that ownership of land should carry some sort of penalty. Fcrissakes.

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