Government claims of an undersupply of housing even in the south-east and London are false and building on the greenbelt will fail to reign in prices, says a new report.
Council for the Protection of Rural England said recent census data revealed the population of England and Wales was 900,000 lower than previously thought and that a “surplus” of homes had increased over the last decade.
Its report, A basis on Which to Build?, also claimed the additional release of Greenfield land for housing was unlikely to reduce price swings or ensure affordable homes went to those who needed it most.
Interest rates and loan policies drove house-price volatility rather than housing supply, it argued. The CPRE was responding to an interim review commissioned by Deputy PM John Prescott and the Treasury.
CPRE director of policy Neil Sinden said rather than relaxing greenfield constraints and increasing urban sprawl across the countryside we needed to “redouble efforts to promote regeneration of existing urban areas.”
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