Restrictive planning leads to unaffordable housing
See the Smaller Rungs Campaign
- 1 Lack of Supply
- 2 The Wrong Types of Houses
- 3 British housing is poor by International Standards
- 4 Market driven housing
- 5 Mythes from the Save the Countryside Lobby
Lack of Supply
- The British planning system has constrained supply, which has resulted in high house price inflation.
- What started as a system where the state carried out development to ensure that the population were provided with a good standard of housing, eventually become one in which the planning system was used to restrict development, particularly in rural areas.
The Wrong Types of Houses
- In a March 2005 Mori poll, 50% of those questioned would prefer to live in a Detached house and 22% in a bungalow. Only 2% would want to live in a low rise flat, and only 1% in a flat in a high rise block.
- Yet in 1990, about an 8th of new built homes were flats, and in 2004 this had risen to one half.
British housing is poor by International Standards
- Britain has the smallest and oldest houses in Europe, and recent new builds are even smaller.
- Prices in the UK have risen faster than other developed countries, and so even though we have experienced real increases in income, we are unable to afford bigger and better housing.
- As technology advances, our homes are getting smaller.
Market driven housing
- As we have moved to liberalise and open up markets across most of our economy, our housing system remains centrally planned. This has proved detrimental to the overall quality and availablity of housing.
Mythes from the Save the Countryside Lobby
Britain is a small, overcrowed country
This is a myth. Only 8% of the total land area in Britain is urban, which is half the figure in the Netherlands. It is also lower than in Belgium, West Germany and Denmark. We may live in crowded cities, but we do not live in a crowed country.
Southern England is especially crowed
Again, another myth. Actually, the north-west bears the title of the most urbanised region in England. The South-west and East Anglia are among the least overcrowded.
We need agricultural land to be self-sufficient
Britain has one of the highest proportions of Land used by agriculture in the whole world, and we produce agricultural surpluses. We depends on imports for almost everything, especially energy so being self-sufficient for food alone is rather pointless.
Cities are bad for the environment
Low rise, low density developments, like the detached houses that the majority of the population aspire to, are actually better for bio-diversity than mono-cultural agriculture farmland.
Building on brown-field sites is always better
There is only a limited amount of brownfield sites. Even if we built on all of them this could only account for around 14% of our housing requirements. If we restrict development to these sites alone, then house prices will continue to sky-rocket and we will be living in dense high rise blocks of flats.