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Massive increase in homes approved for green belt

Words: Huw Morris

A total of 425,000 homes are now due to be built on the green belt, a jump of 54 per cent since March 2016.

An analysis of local authority and city regional plans by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) reveals that more than 70 per cent of the homes are unaffordable to the people who need them.

The 54 per cent increase is the biggest year-on-year increase in building proposed in the green belt for two decades.

Nearly 98,000 homes are planned for green belt in the North-West, with 73,000 scheduled in the West Midlands and 71,000 set to built around London and the South-East.

The CPRE warned that government funds are handsomely rewarding the development of green belt land that ministers promised to protect without delivering the much-needed affordable homes the cash was designed to encourage.

It claimed the New Homes Bonus initiative would reward councils with £2.4 billion for the proposed 425,000 new homes.

“Green belt is being lost at an ever faster rate, yet the type of housing being built now or in the future will do very little to address the affordable housing crisis faced by many families and young people,” said CPRE director of campaigns and policy Tom Fyans.

“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 house builders, not communities in need of decent, affordable housing.”

Image credit | iStock