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Hammond wants to build on green belt land

Words: Laura Edgar
Greenfield and green belt land / Shutterstock_192153302

Chancellor Philip Hammond wants to use this year’s Budget to free up green belt land for housing, but Prime Minister Theresa May is resisting his calls.

According to The Times (subscription), the Budget will feature measures that continue Hammond’s wish to tackle Britain’s poor productivity, with the lack of housing in high-demand areas is considered a key factor.

The paper reports that the chancellor has been arguing with the cabinet that some of the countryside protected by green belt regulations should be reclassified as part of a housing package that could see extra borrowing that funds build new homes.

Earlier this year, the government published its housing white paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market. It notes that the existing “strong protections for the green belt” should be maintained and green belt boundaries should be amended only in “exceptional circumstances”, such as when local authorities can demonstrate they have examined all other options for meeting their housing requirements.

The green belt is not on the agenda for the Budget, a senior ally of May has reportedly said.

Read more:

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