Reducing affordable homes damages growth, CPRE states

Commenting on reports the government plans to reduce the number of affordable homes built by a fifth through scrapping relevant planning policies, Tom Fyans, interim CEO of CPRE, the countryside charity, said this week that such a development would be a damaging move.

“Proposals to allow developers to build up to 50 homes without any of them being affordable would be damaging everywhere and particularly devastating for rural communities. Housing sites in rural areas are typically small, which means the supply of affordable and social homes could be choked off altogether.

“It would consign thousands of key workers and young families to the margins of society, turbocharging the conversion of the countryside into a millionaires’ playground of second homes and weekend retreats.

‘If the government wants to grow the economy through house building, it should be launching an ambitious programme of social house building with a large proportion ring fenced for rural communities. Reducing affordable homes would be self-defeating.

“Government reviews have shown that if you only build housing for a small segment of the market, it results in much less new housing overall, reducing and not boosting growth.

“The government seems intent on repeating failed housing policies and laying the blame on the planning system and environmental protections. The reality is that our rural communities are crying out for more – not less – homes for social rent and genuinely affordable prices to prevent destitution and homelessness,” Mr Fyans asserted.


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