No we do not need to build between 250,000 and 300,000 homes each year!

Guardian columns have been colonised by commentators who pontificate yet rarely understand. John Elledge is a good example.

Most experts think we should be building between 250,000 and 300,000 homes every year in this country: this is no more than four years’ worth. In some regions, like the south-east, it’s barely two years’ worth. With this report, the CPRE has accidentally proved that restricting development to brownfield is a recipe for a continued housing crisis.

Then again, the CPRE doesn’t have to care, does it? Its job is to defend greenfield land, whatever the cost. The housing crisis? That’s someone else’s problem. Very possibly, it’s yours.

Developers often shy away from brownfield because it is less profitable. We are sure there are means to change that.

And where does Mr Elledge think our food comes from?

The average number of new homes built between 2001-02 and 2015-16 was 169,000 in England, roughly equal to the number of new households. In other words a market in balance.

The problem is that too many houses were bought by people for second homes, holiday lets, buy to rent. We need to address the imbalance within the total built NOT build more! But then why let facts get in the way of lazy commentators!


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