Confused and contradictory piece in the Telegraph that sums up press ignorance and crude ‘either or’ way the media treats this issue.
I spent part of the weekend walking through a lovely area near Guildford in Surrey, which is being considered for development even though it is in the green belt….
What most people find hard to understand is why there should be any large-scale development in the countryside at all when there are still plenty of urban sites on which to build.
Not only is there enough space on derelict industrial land to build about 1.5 million homes, these sites are actually close to where people work and in locations that already have the infrastructure that a new garden city in the countryside would have to supply from scratch.
Moreover, since “brownfield first” is supposedly the basis of the Government’s planning policy, why isn’t there more building going on in towns and cities?…
Yes, we need more housing – but let’s build it where it is needed before concreting over any more of our precious countryside.
Yes but most of these 1.5 potential housing on NLUD sites are not near to Guildford and places like Guildford. Also we need around twice as many just to stand still. Yes lets prioritise brownfield, but lets not crudely use ‘brownfield first’ as a synonym for ‘greenfield last and hopefully never’ as that will put those in need of housing in places like Guildford bottom of the queue. We need to incentivise brownfield redevelopment, especially in northern cities, and develop at sustainable locations on Greenfield sites around Southern towns, and none has ever come up with a viable national strategy which could do otherwise. Its just sloganising. Lets look at the numbers and show me how it would be possible to have housing affordability and not build on any Greenfield sites with our current pattern of where people work. If a commentator cannot do that they are not advancing the debate they are just sloganising based on eiother a misunderstanding or wilful misrepresntation of the evidence.