To an economist who this morning wrote “Simply blow up the Town and Country Planning Acts in their entirety” [in order to boost house building in the UK] on the Adam Smith Institute blog-site, I replied..
If you blew up the T&CP legislation you would destroy present land values. The existing antiquated house builders would not make much ingress into the countryside for two or three years as you would wish for lack of traditional tradesmen, such as brick-layers. Besides the market, in this increasingly low-wage country, is not as great as you might imagine.
Meanwhile, there would be massive investment in modular — factory-made — high rise home construction in cities, London particularly, to serve existing potential markets. These are for wardened and nursed apartments for the old and affordable apartments for low-paid young singles and couples unable to afford more than one child.
A hierarchic land value system would probably soon reassert itself. This time, the countryside would not be so much protected by legislation as by being bought by the elite who are presently supporting legislation. They would still want to maintain exclusivity as well as — in this increasingly educated age — deep concern for the environment. This increasing concern is something you simply don’t see because you are so wrapped up in an economic growth-scenario.