Housebuilders body criticises plans outlined in Gordon Brown's pre-Budget report to centralise infrastructure taxation.

The Housebuilders Association has slated the government’s plans to bring in a planning gain supplement, as outlined in the pre-Budget report.

Roger Humber, strategic consultant to the HBA, said: "The HBA welcomes the announcement of a consultation on how best to capture the uplift in land values that will fund the infrastructure required to support housing development, but reminds the chancellor that central taxation is not the only, or even the best, way to do this.”

Humber said that past experience, as seen with the Development Land Tax Act (1976), showed the process to be very expensive and difficult to administer and one that was likely to cause insuperable problems through issues such as land valuation and when to charge any levy.

He said: "Given that the introduction of such a tax will involve significant time and cost to legislate, we will be asking the Treasury to examine viable alternatives in the hope that a more practical outcome can be met.

"One example is a local tariff as developed in Milton Keynes. Despite the fact that it does not require legislation and can be agreed to meet specific local circumstances therefore helping to overcome people's fears about the impact of housing development on local services, it has been dismissed as potentially limited in scope.

"We look forward to discussing the alternatives with the Treasury in the coming months to ensure that the answer includes deliverability and proportionality. The last thing the Chancellor wants is to introduce a tax that will discourage landowners from selling land for development at a time when higher housing output requires a fully operational land market."