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New house builds – how many do we need?

New house building is an emotive subject in the UK. I frequently have discussions with my parents who steadfastly refuse to believe that the number of homes required is anywhere near the 200,000 per year claimed by the Home Builders Federation and the UK Government
By Richard Lee

March 2014: Only in the post-war years and early 1970s, did Britain build anywhere near the necessary numbers of new homes; living close to a new development  – 800 homes are being built less than two miles from where I live – one does ask questions about the infrastructure required to cope with the additional people.

Leaving aside the political posturing, the British economy has been built on migration throughout history, which has supported, the continual economic growth in the UK.

I believe making homes available (at affordable prices) for those who want to live and contribute to our society will make Britain financially and socially better off.

So how to achieve these relatively high house build numbers? Only around 135,000 homes were started in 2013. Planning permission is still relatively cumbersome and long-winded. Even for areas where consent is generally agreed it can take years to pass Local and County permissions.

I know not everyone will agree, but there is plenty of land within the Green Belt that is un-used and un-loved scrubland that could be sympathetically developed.

What about all the brownfield sites that lay idle, couldn’t we develop them relieving some of the urbanisation issues in the process?

We need more new homes to sustain our growing and aging population, unlocking the potential of currently idle or unused land quickly would certainly help to get things moving.


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