Land for People, Communities and Nature
- Poverty and many of society’s other problems come from our land not being shared fairly.
1 – Land: A Common Resource for All
Land is an essential resource that our society, culture and economy depend upon. Like water, it is the fundamental material of our planet and without it we would not exist. Land is the main uniting factor underpinning most of our struggles for social and environmental justice, whether for genuinely affordable housing or food growing, for green space or community space.
At the local, national and international levels, we are drawing attention to displacement from the land, exploitative production that damages the ecosystem and knowledge systems that undermine human rights to land.
From enabling the development of vital infrastructure for housing and agriculture, to providing public space for parks and burial grounds – we all rely on the use of land in some way to fulfil our basic needs and live good lives. Land is a common resource and its joint management should be in the long term interests of all.
- We want our country to belong to all the people who live here.
2 – Distributed Ownership and Control
Although a majority of us have a small stake in the 5% of UK land upon which our housing is built, the majority of land (70%) in the UK is owned by a just 0.6% of the population. Policies and practices should encourage a diversity of land uses which reflect a more equitable distribution of land and which enable there to be more common land available to different sectors of society to access and to relate to and for which they are co-operatively responsible.
- Land should benefit all humans, animals and plants, not just be used to make a profit.
3 – Long Term Stewardship, Not Short Term Profit
The price of land has increased dramatically over time leading to farm land being a better investment than gold and residential land is increasingly seen as a pension pot, rainy day fund, or investment vehicle. Land should not be a speculative financial commodity – it should be seen as a common upon which the best interests of society can be realised and managed.
- Land has greater importance than just money, but the value of land should be shared by everyone.
4 – Utilise the Value of Land for the Benefit of Society
The UK’s current model of taxation and subsidies for land allows the increase in the value of land to be retained as profits by its owner rather than society. It is, however, the decisions and hard work of society, such as building transport infrastructure, regenerating communities or changing the permitted land use, that lead to changes in land values. More of the incremental value generated should accrue to people and communities.
- We want to work together and have the power to make things better.
5 – Proactive Community-centred Planning
Good planning should be based on the participation of all in the decisions that affect their lives. Decisions about how land is distributed and made accessible should be based on the key principles of social equity, inclusion and sustainability.
- We want to know the facts about land so we can see how to make things better.
6 – Total Transparency
Access to information is crucial to the achievement of land reform. Information on ownership, land purchase options, subsidies, tax breaks, common land, public space etc. should be openly and easily accessible to everyone.