Thursday, 11 November 2010

Our Land, is not Our Land - its THEIR land

Land reform is as essential as political reform if we are to create a meritocratic society.

Look who owns Britain: A third of the country STILL belongs to the aristocracy

By Tamara Cohen
Last updated at 8:58 AM on 10th November 2010

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More than a third of Britain’s land is still in the hands of a tiny group of aristocrats, according to the most extensive ownership survey in nearly 140 years.

In a shock to those who believed the landed gentry were a dying breed, blue-blooded owners still control vast swathes of the country within their inherited estates.

A group of 36,000 individuals – only 0.6 per cent of the population – own 50 per cent of rural land.
who owns what among nations super rich

Their assets account for 20million out of Britain’s 60million acres of land, and the researchers estimate that the vast majority is actually owned by a wealthy core of just 1,200 aristocrats and their relatives.
Well off: The Duke of Westminster has a property portfolio totalling around £6billion

Well off: The Duke of Westminster has a property portfolio totalling around £6billion

The top ten individual biggest owners control a staggering total of more than a million acres between them.

These figures have been uncovered by the ‘Who Owns Britain?’ report by Country Life Magazine, thought to be the most extensive survey of its type undertaken since 1872.

The top private landowner, not just in Britain but Europe, is the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury, whose four sumptuous estates cover 240,000 acres in England and Scotland.

But while his land is the most vast, it is not the most valuable, as the net worth depends on how much is farmland, as well as the value of the property and sporting and heritage activities on it.

The most valuable land belongs to Number 4 on the list, the Duke of Westminster, whose Grosvenor Estate, worth a whopping ­£6billion, takes in the wealthiest areas of London, including ­Belgravia and Mayfair.

Second on the list of the most land owned is Scottish magnate the Duke of Atholl.

His 145,700 acres have pushed Prince Charles, who as Duke of Cornwall has 133,000 acres, into third place on the list of individual owners.

Yet all are dwarfed by the incredible reach of corporate land-ownership, which barely existed 100 years ago.

As the biggest 19th-century landowners such as the Church have been sidelined by economic and social changes, their land has been snapped up by the state, charities and the private sector.

More than 2.5million acres – 4 per cent of the country – is in the hands of the Government-run Forestry Commission, which the Coalition plans to privatise. Second on the list is the fast-expanding National Trust, with 630,000 acres.
PS Three other big landowners you might not expect ...

PENSION FUNDS: 550,000 acres

Many of the UK's 2,800-plus funds have invested in land for centuries and snapped up struggling farms in the 1980s

THE RSPB: 321, 237 acres

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds owns 200 reserves and its landholding has rocketed in the past ten years.

DEFENCE ESTATES: 592,000 acres

Over two-thirds of land owned by the MoD's property arm is used for training. It also owns 50,000 service personnel homes, and 800 listed buildings

Catching up swiftly are foreign investors and even supermarkets.

Waitrose owns a 4,000-acre estate in Hampshire, which it runs as a farm, while Tesco’s 2,545 stores alone take up 770 acres.

Most of the report’s information has been uncovered only in the past five years after a registration campaign targeting huge landowners who had previously avoided disclosing their assets.

The report’s author, Kevin Cahill, who has been researching land ownership for ten years, told the Daily Mail: ‘A small minority still own a huge amount of Britain’s land and what surprises many people is that over the last 100 years, not a lot has changed.

‘For the rich the pursuit of land is as important as it’s ever been. They receive subsidies and most of their assets are held in trust, avoiding inheritance tax.

‘The biggest change in land ownership in the past 100 years is that people who live in cities now finance the countryside whereas it used to be the other way around.’

Read the full report in Country Life, on sale today.

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Anonymous said...

And your point is what? This is the biggest envious load of nonsense I have ever read. They are aristocrats, NOT plutocrats! Aristocrats believe in quality of life whereas plutocrats value the quantity of life. These aristocrats are here to preserve our land from corporate investors who will now use and abuse the land plus, the aristocrats are the ones who know how to manage this land unlike the masses. So from what you are telling me, you are just a Marxist class warrior who wants to over throw the top elites! When in reality it should be the bankers who deserve to be punished!

Defender of Liberty said...

Yeah, I am a marxist.

The idea that aristocrats believe in quality of life, is the most asinine rubbish I have ever read.

Go away you idiot.

Anonymous said...

This Cohen women works with preverts.

Anonymous said...

No, what you are saying is the most asinine rubbish because aristocrats have done nothing to ruin this country at all! In fact the Duke only owns less than a quarter of the land and for the fact that the past liberal governments have managed to scrap the aristocracy and replace them with greedy plutocrats!!

I find that very strange that you are both a Marxist and a Nationalist, very odd (!)

Defender of Liberty said...

I was being sarcastic you prat.

So the duke only owns a quarter of the land, well thats alright then.

The fact it was stolen from the Anglo-Saxons after the normal invasion and given to him by the king, means that when we take big chunks of it away and give it back to the people that will be just as legal, as we are the 'kings' today.

What good for the duke, is good for the Parliament.