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Bright Blue welcomes the Prime Minister’s speech on housing, but calls for reform of the Green Belt.
Sam Hall, Head of Research at the liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue, commented:
“There is a shortage of new homes in Britain’s most popular and growing areas. To tackle this, more land must be brought forward for development and denser development must be encouraged.
“It is welcome therefore that the Prime Minister recognises the need to reform the planning system. The Government is right to allow homeowners to add extra storeys to their properties to increase density. They are also right to make the delivery of the planning system more effective and to make councils and developers more accountable.
“But the big omission was reforming the Green Belt. The Green Belt constrains the growth of Britain’s most successful cities by prohibiting new homes being built where people want to live. In some cases, Green Belt land is of low environmental quality and has poor public access. A way to address both these problems would be to permit developers to build on the Green Belt in areas where there is a housing shortage, but in return mandate them to improve the stock of natural capital in the local area, such as by planting new woodland or creating a park.”