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Housing crisis ‘not helped’ by government garden-grabbing move

The Federation of Master Builders believes that government moves to prevent gardens being built on will do nothing to address the housing crisis.
Responding to the Government’s pledge to reclassify gardens, currently in the “brownfield” planning category used for ex-factory and railway land, Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB said: “It is very disappointing that the Government has decided to give priority to the issue of garden grabbing rather than help the thousands of families in this country that need an affordable home.

“There are over 4.5 million people on social housing waiting lists and thousands more families unable to get on the housing ladder. By further limiting the supply of new housing we are in danger of creating a country of the have and have nots with only the most affluent being able to buy a house.”

He continued: “Reclassifying all gardens will inevitably mean even more pressure to build on the Green Belt and the countryside. What is need is a comprehensive review of the planning system to look at how we can allocate more land for housing. We know that there are pockets of land of under two hectares that could address the housing crisis but which are not counted in the official statistics.

“With a rising population and house building at its lowest level since 1923 the Government needs to be thinking about increasing the supply of housing rather than decreasing it. A review of all the barriers to house building would have been a better and more constructive start rather than targeting one particular issue which will do nothing to help the majority of people wanting a home. ”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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