“Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies — it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly…Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains—and all the while the landlord sits still.”
That was what Winston Churchill said about Land Value Tax in 1909. But what is it and why should I care?
In our topsy-turvy, contemporary society, have you ever stopped to wonder about your turbary rights? What about your pannage, estover and agistment rights? In this post, we turn to the cutting edge legal document of 1217, ‘The Charter of the Forest’ or ‘Carta de Foresta’. You might know the Magna Carta as a document that started to establish human rights as we know them today, but the Charter of the Forest arguably did more for the common man; and as is the case with these kinds of things, helps inform our view of planning law and land rights today. Who owns the land, why and what are they allowed to do with it?
Policy 52 ‘Low Impact Development Making a Positive Contribution’ provides a context for permitting development in the countryside as an exception to normal planning policyother than that which is already possible under Agricultural Workers dwelling policies.
The Land is written by and for people who believe that the roots of justice, freedom, social security and democracy lie not so much in access to money, or to the ballot box, as in access to land and its resources.