Green Belt being lost without improving housing crisis

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has warned that the increase in houses planned for the Green Belt remain unaffordable to those who need them.

The CPRE’s annual Green Belt Under Siege report highlights that just 16 per cent of houses built on Green Belt land since 2009 outside local plans were classed as ‘affordable’, and that 70 per cent of houses proposed for development are not expected to be ‘affordable’ either.

The report states that 425,000 houses are now planned for Green Belt land, an increase of 54 per cent on March 2016, representing the biggest year-on-year increase in building proposed in the Green Belt for two decades.

The CPRE is arguing that the government should help councils build again and help fund genuinely affordable homes, including on small rural sites.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the CPRE, said: “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. 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.

“Protecting the Green Belt is part of, not a barrier to, solving the housing crisis. It encourages us to focus on the one million plus homes we can build on suitable brownfield sites, and avoid the environmental costs of urban sprawl. The Green Belt makes our towns and cities better places to live. It provides quick access to the countryside. The Government must do more to protect it.”

The CPRE’s annual Green Belt Under Siege report highlights that just 16 per cent of houses built on Green Belt land since 2009 outside local plans were classed as ‘affordable’, and that 70 per cent of houses proposed for development are not expected to be ‘affordable’ either.

The report states that 425,000 houses are now planned for Green Belt land, an increase of 54 per cent on March 2016, representing the biggest year-on-year increase in building proposed in the Green Belt for two decades.

The CPRE is arguing that the government should help councils build again and help fund genuinely affordable homes, including on small rural sites.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the CPRE, said: “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. 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.

“Protecting the Green Belt is part of, not a barrier to, solving the housing crisis. It encourages us to focus on the one million plus homes we can build on suitable brownfield sites, and avoid the environmental costs of urban sprawl. The Green Belt makes our towns and cities better places to live. It provides quick access to the countryside. The government must do more to protect it.”