Author of new ASI report The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, Tom Papworth, details the report's findings in a comment piece for Conservative Home.
Britain is facing a housing crisis. Homes are absurdly expensive – especially near our most prosperous cities, exactly where we need to be attracting new, young, talented workers.
The government expect that around 2.5 million new households will form over the next decade (not, contrary to popular myth, as a result of immigration, but due to the fact that young people are leaving home, pensioners are living longer and households are on average smaller). But best projections are that only around 1.4 million properties will be built over the next decade. Where can we fit the extra million homes?
The problem is not a shortage of land. Contrary to another popular myth, Britain is neither particularly densely populated, not is it over-developed. The population density of the UK is similar to that of Germany and less than Belgium, Japan or the Netherlands.
The new ASI report, The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform, looks at the Green Belt’s impact on England’s housing shortage. After a comprehensive review of the causes of the housing crisis, it concludes that the planning structure is out of date and in need of radical reform.