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Country News - 2003

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Building land shortage a "myth" - CPRE

Wednesday 24 September 2003

BRITAIN'S house builders are under fierce attack from the Campaign to Protect Rural England by grossly exaggerating the shortage of greenfield land available for new development.

After conducting a detailed survey of "banked" building land - sites which have already been given planning permission - the CPRE says that builders are sitting on enough land to build a row of terrace houses stretching from Land's End to John O'Groats.

The building industry has been pressuring government for years into releasing more land for housing and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is planning to give the go ahead for millions of new homes.

Yet according to the CPRE, the so-called land shortage is a myth. Builders have in fact increased their land holdings in reserve by 17.6% since 1998.

Says CPRE Director of Policy Neil Sinden: "Far from there being a land shortage, too much countryside is still in the pipeline for development. Instead of allowing the designation of more greenfield land, urgent action is needed to boost the attractiveness of urban renewal instead.


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