the OFT Investigation into the Housebuilding Industry

marksimonbrown mark at
Tue Jul 3 17:26:12 BST 2007

Re: the OFT Investigation into the Housebuilding Industry,
Jock Coats said:
>"They'll accept unsolicited comments, suggestions and evidence till
17th August."<

MY REPLY: Of course, the agenda of the developers will be at the heart
of what ever they report on - our campaign aims are not necessarily
going to be listened to by those "actors" whose review is "limited to
the scope of the existing policy framework" (the words of Kate Barker
about her own 2004 report on housing).

Re: 1909 groups's policy on land tax, they are misconceived. Universal
land tax is a really BAD idea.

Submissions for the OFT investigation should be sent to:
Housebuilding Market Study - Floor 2W
Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JX

or email to: at

Download Housebuilding - reasons for market study at:

OFT welcomes relevant written submissions, with evidence to support
views expressed.

Main points: Scope of the study will include extent to which consumers
have power to drive competition, the extent of competition in
housebuilding and barriers to entry (which may interest the self-build
sector in terms of the efficacy of the planning process) and expansion
including whether available land is being effectively brought through
the planning process in a timely manner,  as well as consumer
protections and redress including the consideration of consumer

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [diggers350] OFT threatens to act
From:    "Jock Coats" <jock.coats at>
Date:    Mon, June 25, 2007 10:26 pm

They'll accept unsolicited comments, suggestions and evidence till
17th August.

OFT has always been there.  One of its outcomes used to be to refer
an issue to the monopolies commission.  Now it's to the European
competition commission.  So that's unlikely to happen since it's
unlikely to uncover evidence of exclusion/cartel operation at a
European level.

I wrote about it here: (there's a link to the
pdf with details of submissions)


On 25 Jun 2007, at 22:16, Simon Fairlie wrote:

> Yes, good idea. What's the time scale? can you keep me updated.
> By the way, excuse my ignorance, but is  OFT the  Office of Fair
> Trade? Did that used to be the Monopolies Commission?
> thanks
> Simon
> On 22 Jun 2007, at 18:40, james armstrong wrote:
>> OFT to investigate the giant housebuilders
>> (Don't be too optimistic, they have already discounted prosecuting
>> them)
>> In 2004 the OFT were asked to investigate the monopoly of land as
>> evidenced by the landbanks of the national housebuilders (details
>> in the Barker Report) as causing the housing crisis. I got
>> ridiculous answers.
>> To-day John Fingleton the Director of OFT ,( BBC News Radio Four,
>> 22nd June 2007 , also to-day's Times article) -announced the
>> decision of the organisation to conduct a wide review of the
>> housing supply system.
>> I have prepared a draft submission as evidence to the new OFT
>> enquiry fingering the national housebuilders and bulk landowners
>> and suggesting various measures to remake the destroyed market for
>> new houses including reform of the planning laws, promoting self
>> build, prosecuting unlawful local land monopolies used against the
>> public interest etc
>> I suggest this is a good opportunity to put together a team to
>> prepare a more professional submission, perhaps on behalf of
>> Chapter Seven or TLIO,etc. ( My language needs modifying for a start)
>> This should ideally include perhaps someone from Chapter Seven,
>> RTPI, a surveyor , RIBA etc.
>> The Housebuilders Federation have instantly got in their oar
>> welcoming the enquiry and squealing that the difficulty is the
>> delay in the planning process etc.
>> Seperately I have posted the OFT announcement from to-days Times.
>> Can I have reactions to this suggestions please?
>> James
>> The next generation of Hotmail is here - Windows Live Hotmail

Jock Coats - Chair, Oxfordshire Community Land Trusts
c/o Warden's Flat 1e, J Block Morrell Hall, OXFORD, OX3 0FF
w: +44 (0)1865 483353 h: +44 (0)1865 485019
m: +44 (0)7769 695767 e: jock.coats at
www: -

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