Lack of New Homes Beneficial for the Environment

  • 16 years ago
  • Uncategorized
While the economic downturn hitting the UK is not good news for most people in the country, it could be good for the environment. A committee of MPs says that the government should revise its target to build 3 million new homes by 2020. Greenfield sites do not need to be built on if there isn’t a need for the housing, according to the group.
Gordon Brown announced last July that he wanted to have 2 million new homes constructed by 2016, with an additional 1 million zero carbon rated homes built from 2016 to 2020. Also, there are plans to build 10 new eco-towns by 2020. Tim Yeo, the Conservative chairman of the environmental audit committee (EAC) called for a review of the targets, noting that “The government needs to ensure that in the current market downturn, an excess of land is not made available to developers which could lead to greenfield land being developed in preference to brownfield. Once greenfield land is released for development, this land will be lost for ever.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England agreed with the findings, as its senior planner, Kate Gordon said: “The pressure for greenfield development will intensify in an economic downturn. Inflexible government targets and planning rules are forcing local councils across the country to needlessly allocate greenfield land for housing.”
Margaret Beckett, the housing minister, indicated that the government has no current plans to lower its targets for housing, saying “We have shown we can build the homes that are needed whilst protecting the environment.”
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