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Restrict buy to let – Conservative’s shock demand to government

A former Conservative councillor has used a leading party website to call on the government to restrict the purchase of buy to let properties.

Sam Clark is a former Conservative councillor living in Epping Forest in the south east of England, and writes on the Conservative Home website: “We are repeatedly told that what the country needs is more housing. In Epping Forest’s local plan, it is expected 11,400 houses will be needed over the next decade. The logic presumably being that more houses will bring down the cost for first time buyers trying to get on the property ladder.

“It doesn’t quite work like that though does it? It is easier to buy a property if you already own a property. The policy is incorrect. Real reform of the housing market is needed. 
“It won’t happen – but I would argue a Conservative government should restrict the purchase of properties for the buy to let market. This would be transformative, allowing the UK to once again become a home-owning democracy. It would help young people who find themselves in a vicious cycle of renting and who are unable to save up for a deposit.”

In the article Clark develops a theme that large scale new-build schemes are unpopular, especially if they are constructed without commensurate infrastructure and amenities and are placed over currently-green sites. He says a string of Conservative council seats – his own included – have been lost or made marginal because of the unpopularity of new housing.

He concludes his piece:” The Conservative Party needs to focus on conserving our natural environment and heritage. In this way, we can be seen to be on the side of local residents in rural areas. At the moment, we are giving out the idea that a Conservative vote is a vote to concrete over your area. Without reform to planning laws, we will continue down our current trajectory at our peril.”

Amongst the comments at the end of the article is one, from ‘Dave’, saying: “Apart from banning the letting of houses, I have no idea what is being proposed here.”

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