(Bloomberg) -- The UK’s main opposition Labour Party is considering making it cheaper for councils to forcibly purchase land for development, part of its bid to spur house-building.

Under the current system, councils are able to issue a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to acquire land, but have to pay a price which includes the land’s so-called “hope value”, which reflects the value of potential future planning permissions.

Labour is looking at how the amount of “hope value” could be reduced or removed entirely, according to three people familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity. The plans are still yet to be finalized, the people said.

Home-building is due to be one of the major battlegrounds in the UK’s general election expected next year, with Labour trying to position itself as more pro-housing than Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives. Earlier this month Labour leader Keir Starmer said he would re-instate mandatory housebuilding targets.

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Sunak’s government has already been looking at the issue of “hope value” and in April proposed new powers that would allow the Housing Secretary to cap hope value payments. It is currently consulting on the idea and, if it decides to proceed, would include it as an amendment to its Leveling Up and Regeneration Bill.

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