Is the UK being "concreted over"?

More than four in five people feel the government is not striking a good balance between housing needs and countryside protection

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The Independent Online

A new study by SmartNewHomes shows that more than half of people (53%) believe the UK is being ‘concreted over’.

Just over 80% of those surveyed disagreed that the Government is striking a sensible balance between housing requirements and protecting the countryside.

The study shows that three out of four of the 1,534 people surveyed  overestimated the proportion of land developed in England alone - one fifth of respondents correctly identified it as being 11% while nearly half believed it to be three times as much at 30% and a quarter felt it was six times as much at 70%.

Steven Lees, Director at SmartNewHomes, said: "Development issues are still something of a hot potato and there remains a common misconception that the countryside is being gobbled up by housebuilders for development. In fact, 60% of new home developments are built on brownfield sites with the remainder often on unsightly scrub and wasteland. It is a shame that six months on from the launch of the Government’s flagship planning policy, the NPPF, and the promise to get local people involved at the decision stage of the process, the public remains blinded by a lack of available information.

"With the UK crying out for millions of new homes we need to see increased awareness of development issues in the UK if we are to meet buyer demand and prevent an entire generation from only ever aspiring to own their own home."