Opposition to development halves if new homes locally affordable, new poll reveals

News / Fri 10th May 2024 at 04:35pm

NEW polling by YouGov, commissioned by CPRE, the countryside charity, has revealed that half of people who object to new housing in their local area would support them if the homes were affordable to people on average local incomes. Whereas 41% said they did not want to see the construction of more homes close to where they live, that proportion fell to 20% if those homes were locally affordable.
So-called ‘affordable’ housing, which can currently cost anything up to 80% of market rates, is usually anything but. CPRE is calling on the government to redefine the term in housing policy and link it directly to local incomes. The results of the poll, carried out by YouGov, show that this change would encourage many people to support developments to which they would previously have objected.

The poll also showed an increase in support for new homes from 50% to 71% if they were built on brownfield land. There are enough ‘shovel-ready’ brownfield sites in England for 1.2 million new homes. Building them could provide people with genuinely affordable housing – close to where they already live, work and go to school – and protect the countryside at the same time. This is a major endorsement of the brownfield-first house building policy, which is critical to reducing the need to build on Green Belt land that could otherwise support nature restoration and other environmental benefits such as flood defences.

Developments in the Green Belt have been shown to underdeliver on affordability, while research published by CPRE in 2023 showed social homes accounted for less than 5% of those built on Green Belt land. The Green Belt is the countryside next door for 30 million people in the UK. It should be improved and protected to help us tackle the major environmental challenges we face, not covered with large, car-dependent ‘executive’ homes that local people neither want nor can afford.

CPRE chief executive Roger Mortlock said: ‘The results of this poll tell us that people want new homes to be affordable for local people and built on brownfield sites. Both are possible with enough political will and we want to see all parties make strong pledges to deliver that.

‘We need to move away from the idea that people in the countryside are against development. They want the same things as everyone else: housing on a scale and at a cost that’s appropriate for their local community that respects environmental limits. Land is this country in a finite resource and our countryside is working harder than ever to meet the multiple environmental and social challenges we face. For new housing we should prioritise inner-city brownfield development, urban densification and regeneration of towns, delivering the homes we need today while safeguarding the countryside for future generations to enjoy.’

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1 Comment for Opposition to development halves if new homes locally affordable, new poll reveals:

2024-05-10 18:22:07

We would not need affordable homes if we had not had decades of low interest rates, and a crazy house price inflation thanks to the labour government from 1997 - 2005 especially. The conservatives have done nothing to address this, things like help to buy really just kept the prices 20% higher than what they should be - I wonder when the miss-selling claims for that will occur. The reality is the housing market is broken it is not a magic cash machine as many think but a home. The average salary of 33K in the UK houses should be 3-4x that which set the average house price at well below 150K. The issue is the crash to correct to that is to large so governments are scared of it, what will happen is one of two things prices will crash or inflation / hyper inflation will occur both are very dangerous and damaging. This situation was brought to you by both Labour and the conservatives

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