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Graham Awards


People want new homes - but not just anywhere

Almost 77 per cent of people think the government must build more homes - but if that means reclassifying Green Belt space, public support starts to dwindle.

There is also little backing for so-called Growth Zones, proposed in this year’s Queen’s Speech as part of the government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes every year.  

Any land that is zoned for growth would benefit from automatic initial planning permission, and councils would be unable to turn down applications that comply with local rules and regulations.


Growth Zones are just one part of what the government is calling the biggest shakeup to planning for 70 years. 

A new planning Bill also proposes to digitise planning, create new frameworks for funding infrastructure development, and to ensure a significant proportion of new homes are built by small and medium size developers. 

However, when asked whether developments inside Growth Zones should automatically be granted initial planning consent, 61 per cent disagree and 59 per cent say Growth Zone designation would deter them from living there.

Emma Power, chief executive of Warwick Estates - the firm that commissioned ref survey - says: “Although the public clear in their support for more new homes, their reluctance to create either Growth Zones or start building on the Green Belt puts the government between a rock and a hard place. 

“Where are all of these new homes going to go and how can they be delivered in an acceptable time frame?

“Unfortunately, there’s no one quick fix and that is why we’ve seen the can kicked from one government to the next with no long-term strategy on addressing the issue. 

“Reclassification of some Green Belt land could certainly help but we also need to incentivise developers to build more.”


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