Wednesday, 12 March 2014

MIPIM, Cannes, Monopoly, Sale of Public Land, Green Belt, Tax Breaks, High Speed 2, Camden Town

Politicians tell property developers and investors at MIPIM that publicly-owned land in London and the rest of the UK is up for sale, writes Paul Coleman.

Set-piece 'debates' conceal the public land deals conceived at MIPIM

Land grab

MIPIM, the ‘international real estate show’, hosted in Cannes in the south of France, shapes up like a global ‘Monopoly’ board game.
Players fling dice in the shape of millions of dollars at property in cities across the world.

London and other British cities offer specific potential profits to property developers and speculative investors – in the shape of publicly owned land, recently made available for private sale by locally elected politicians.

Richard Claxton, chairman of construction consultancy Pellings hosts a debate by asking: “Is the Green Belt the answer to London’s Housing Crisis?”  
The Green Belt, swathes of protected land around London, now no longer seems sacred.

Will London's green and pleasant Green Belt mutate into a greedy and unpleasant construction belt?

At Cannes, you find UK delegations totally support High Speed 2, the multi-billion rail link between London, Birmingham and other northern cities. “Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester will have opportunities through HS2 opening up London to the rest of the country,” says Steve Norris of the Temple Group planning consultancy.

At Cannes you won’t find local folks from Camden Town protesting how HS2 might demolish their homes, businesses and destroy long-established family and social networks.

Tax breaks
Elsewhere, inside MIPIM, announcements fly. The Selly Oak hospital site in Birmingham – a former NHS hospital - is up for sale, reports Lisa Pilkington of property mag, Estates Gazette.
People under a ‘Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone’ announce ‘expansion plans’ where investors will enjoy ‘tax breaks across a range of prime sites’.

Chunks of London attract global MIPIM property players, including areas deemed by politicians and the property industry as ‘rundown’, ‘underused’ and in need of ‘regeneration’.

Take just one of the many excited Tweets from property media outfit, Estates Gazette. ‘Greater portion of stock we’re buying now is beyond Central London. Pop growth means demand for resi so we see good value there.

‘London’s rising population means increased demand for genuinely affordable homes is pushing up prices in areas beyond central London.

‘More profits for us.’

Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, March 2014.

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