Based on a mixture of primary historical research and secondary sources, this book explores the reasons for the failure of the state in England during the twentieth century to regulate, tax, and control the market in land for the common or public good. It is maintained that this created the circumstances in which private property relationships had triumphed by the end of the century. Explaining a complex field of legislation and policy in accessible terms, the book concludes by asking what type of land reform might be relevant in the twenty-first century to address the current housing crisis, which seen in its widest context, has become the new land question of the modern era.
‘…an important book that answers a number of questions about land reform. Thoughtful and clearly written, it demonstrates that land reform never really went away as a political issue, but was in part transmuted into debates about planning, betterment and compensation and capital gains tax.’ - Jeremy Burchardt, University of Reading, UK
Part I: The Historical Setting
1. The English Land Question in Historical Perspective
2. Land Reform Movements Before 1914
Part II: The Land Question and Taxation of Land Values 1914 to 1939
3. The Impact of The War and The Spread of Owner-Occupation
4. The Rise of Town Planning and The Demise of Site Value Rating
Part III: The Political Conflict Over Landed Property Rights 1942 to 1979
5. The Impact of The War on Town and Country
6. Tensions in The War-Time Coalition Government
7. The Post War Settlement
8. Continuing Battles Over Compensation and Betterment
Part IV: The Land Question and The Housing Crisis 1979 to 2017.
9. The Triumph of Private Property and Future Options for Land Reform