According to the Local Government Association, there are 400,000 plots, or houses, with planning permission that have not been built. But experts say of these, at least half are under construction, leaving around 200,000 – or just a year’s supply, under Miliband’s target.
Given that it takes longer than one year to get planning permission then there just isn’t some vast set of permited but unbuilt sites that he can nationalise.
The problem is exactly where it always has been. Not enough chittys for development are issued each year. Thus it is the planning permission system that needs reform. And this story of people hoarding developable land is just what it always has been, a popular delusion. But then that’s how policy is developed these days, on the basis of delusions that people believe to be true, not the facts.