Gone to the dogs?

Vertical 1980’s

From reading the committee report and the recent change of government in 1979 (that was voted into power on a new economic theory of small government and private sector freedom), it seems the answer to speed up the slow grind of regulation (whether good or bad) concerning planning and finance was now a realistic option. The regulation and consultation of the former LCC was pretty much dropped and the formation of an independant corporation, free from local planning authorities was now a reality. This ‘corporation’ could grant large capital gains tax breaks, offer pockets of land without lengthy public enquiries and options for almost immediate spades in the ground.

A rare exception.

Again living on the island during this time, the opposition was strong, but ultimately a failure due to the LDDC being a bulldozer backed by a virtually unaccountable government who hid behind the neoliberal model of minimal government intervention, leaving all the responsibility to the LDDC and their private backers. Local authorities in the area had little or no say in the matter as the LDDC ran the whole scheme with no real accountability.

This was always about the neoliberal view of monetary value as the only value to be considered of value, as for ‘community’ if it could not create a monetary value then is was not considered or given a voice.

The theory of reward for the islander was the supposed ‘trickle down effect’ and the myth of all boats rise on a rising tide”

This has conclusively been dismantled by the stagnation of wage increases of the bottom 90% compared with the tripling of the top 10% (as stated by Thomas Piketty in Capital of the 21st Century). This ultimately led to the gentrification (in the classic 1964 Ruth Glass sense) of the area with house prices being pushed up via the newly deregulated banking system (1986 Big Bang) creating new money via financialised debt for mortgages with the promise of ever increasing house prices. (until 1987, 1992-4 and 2008 crashes which corrected until new manipulations of regulations were invented to fuel a new boom, ie buy to let, help to buy, stamp duty holidays) and for those who either managed a right to buy via a local authority housing sell off or were fortunate enough to own a property on the IOD at the beginning of the boom, then they hit the one jackpot that only once since the 1980’s has returned, after a 20% drop in house prices in 1992-4, but due to Buy to Let and monster worldwide profit seeking equity companies (ie Black Stone), any reduction via a recession will be scooped up quickly once there is a perception of prices bottoming out.

The LDDC was dismantled in 1998 as it was deemed to be no longer needed, it can be argued that the model is now so deeply ingrained in planning (and the emergence private/public spaces that Canary wharf in particular introduced, that now each silo of new construction just follows the template set up by the LDDC) that it has been normalised.
Plus with further deregulation concerning overseas investors building off plan, looking for a safe haven from their often rather unstable and questionable gains to a democracy with a strong rule of law and thus stable governance for a storage of value with the bonus of a rent yield in a finite market with a shortage of rentable space. Perfect.


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