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Planning Minister calls for more building on green field sites to ease housing crisis

Nick Boles claims 1,500 square miles of undeveloped land need to be built on

The Conservative minister, Nick Boles, has called for an extensive increase in the proportion of the UK that is developed. In an interview in Newsnight, the Planning Minister, insisted that it was vital to build homes on a further 2-3% of the UK. Currently about 9% of land is developed so the additional building would add about a third to currently existing brownfield sites. Indeed the 1,500 square miles would generate an urban area two and a half times the size of Greater London.

Mr Boles said that he would continue to protect the green belt but that some green field sites would have to be built on to meet demand. This is perhaps unsurprising as current estimates suggest that about 230,000 new households are formed every year yet less than 120,000 are being built. However, the minister also warned against “lazy” builders constructing “pig ugly” homes that people did not want to live in.

He continued: “I think everyone has the right to live somewhere that is not just affordable but that is beautiful and has some green space nearby.” His insistence that housing is “a basic moral right, like health care and education” has met with broad support from the housing sector.

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