Greenbelt up for grabs
Following on from NHBC’s revelation that the scale of house building is well down on figures for 2011, Planning Minister Nick Boles has ruffled a few feathers by calling for the amount of land to be made available for new homes to be increased by a third. This equates to 1,500 square miles of open countryside – or, in other words, a plot the size of the County of Devon.
Unsurprisingly, the Green Party has accused him of riding roughshod over the British countryside and both the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the National Trust have also been highly critical.
In response, Mr Boles said that not all open land was beautiful, and that ‘sometimes buildings are better’. However, he did call on the construction industry to be more proactive about consulting with local people before they started building. In particular, he referred to most new builds estates as being ‘pig ugly, and called for builders to take more pride in their work.