Supporting EU Research

On 05 July 2019 Jonathan Manns, Rockwell’s Head of Planning and Development, gave the keynote presentation at the European Union’s (EU’s) conference on “Public Value Capture from Increasing Property Values” in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Jon is a UK Representative on the Management Committee for the EU’s research programme into Land Value Capture as part of the COST (Co-operation in Science and Technology) Action programme and spoke alongside Dr Nicholas Falk of the URBED Trust. The EU-research draws together lessons from 36 countries on the way in which communities can directly benefit from new development proposals and has already concluded an initial review of 150+ academic papers and 20 books.

Jon gave an overview of the UK experience with land value capture, alongside key financial and philosophical questions, whilst touching on the lessons from history and other European cities. This presentation provided the basis for wider discussions, not least as part of a series of Working Groups which he chaired.

In so far as there was consensus amongst participants, it was agreed that governments should seek to capture value which arises from development where the right to build is conferred by the state (as it is in the UK). Moreover, in such instances, the collective emphasis was on the need for this to be both relevant to the development proposed and proportionate in its nature.

The COST Action research programme will continue until 2022 and a UK-specific workstream is expected to begin in Winter 2019. The UK-focussed research is likely to explore opportunities to move beyond the current “developer contributions” approach and towards a system in which the completed property is taxed so that beneficiaries of public investment contribute towards the costs at the point when the most significant financial value is created.