Sun, 5 February 2023

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By Dr Simon Kaye
Press releases

Ministers attacked for failing to protect green belt over sharp rise in new homes

Ministers attacked for failing to protect green belt over sharp rise in new homes
2 min read

The Government are failing to live up to their pledge to protect England’s countryside from excessive house-building, while those that are being built are unaffordable, campaigners have warned.

Plans are in place to build 425,000 new homes in green belt areas, up sharply from the 273,000 in March 2016, according to research by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

More than 70% are deemed to be in developments aimed at better-off buyers and are out of the reach of lower-income families or those trying to get on the housing ladder, the group said.

The group took aim at Government’s “new homes bonus” – a move to incentivise local authorities to grant planning permission for new homes, but which they say will see councils rake in £2.4bn for the latest 425,000 properties.

Tory MP Andrew Mitchell told the Telegraph there had been a “lack of imagination” in house-building programmes.

"There is an incredible failure of imagination and paralysis of thinking in how we build the million more new homes our young people urgently require and are quite right to expect,” he said.

"Instead of despoiling our Green Belt, far more action on brown field land and new Garden Cities is required.

"We need to tackle the inertia caused by the greedy land banking of some of the Developers. There seems to be a lack of urgency in recognising that housing failure is one of the great inter-generational inequalities."

Tom Fyans, the CPRE’s director of director of campaigns and policy said: “We must not be the generation that sells off our precious Green Belt in the mistaken belief it will help improve the affordability of housing.

“The only ones set to benefit from future Green Belt development will be landowners and the big housebuilders, not communities in need of decent, affordable housing.”

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