Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 6, 2018

State Of The Green Belt 2018

CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report shows that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt.

The report also demonstrates that building on the Green Belt is not solving the affordable housing crisis, and will not do so. Last year 72% of homes built on greenfield land within the Green Belt were unaffordable by the government’s definition. Of the 460,000 homes that are planned to be built on land that will be released from the Green Belt, the percentage of unaffordable homes will increase to 78%.

Local authorities with Green Belt land have enough brownfield land for over 720,000 homes, the report finds, much of which is in areas with a high need for housing and existing infrastructure. In addition to a push for a genuine ‘brownfield first’ approach to development, CPRE are also calling on the government to – retain its commitment to protect the Green Belt by establishing long-term boundaries– halt speculative development in the Green Belt– develop clear guidance for local authorities on housing requirements to protect designated land– support the creation of new Green Belts where local authorities have established a clear need for them.

Looking at eight rural councils over one year, analysis shows that half the affordable homes that councils were required to build were lost when viability assessments were used, demonstrating that the housing crisis is not just confined to our cities, but is having a serious impact in the countryside as well. Developers use ‘viability assessments’ to argue that building affordable homes could reduce their profits to below around 20%, which gives them the right to cut their affordable housing quota. It means developers are over-paying for land and recouping the costs by squeezing the affordable housing commitments, a tactic often used by developers building big housing schemes.


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