Housing

As figures emerge from the government that the rate of new home-building is falling behind their target of 1,000,000 by 2020, the CPRE offers an interesting take on the hidden potential of brown-field sites across the UK. They claim in their press release here that there is sufficient brown-field land available to meet a significant proportion of that target. This would certainly remain a favoured direction for development, densifying existing urban areas and using infrastructure already in place, minimising the effect on undeveloped areas of the country. However the RTPI dispute this in their press release; whilst urging caution they still believe that greenbelts should be seriously considered to meet this housing need… the debate goes on; in the meantime it seems that home-buyers are at the mercy of the developers as shortfalls see prices continue to rise. Lack of affordability is an oft-cited phenomenon: if the government puts onto developers targets for ‘affordable homes’ (e.g. 35% in Exeter), does that imply that it is acceptable that the majority of new homes are out of reach of the average family?