Further to Duncan Stott‘s tweeting last night about the Green Belt, I would like to make it clear that although I am a country bumpkin, there is lots of space for housing out here. I for one am willing to sacrifice some of the countryside I love so that people can, you know, afford houses one day.
According to the National Office of Statistics (pdf) “Nearly eight of every ten people in the United Kingdom lived in an urban area in 2001, according to the most recent definition of the term. Urban areas covered 8.9 per cent of the UK’s land mass at that time.”
80% of the people live in 9% of the land. That is 48 million people living 10,000 square miles. If we build on another 1,000 square miles, about 1% of the UK’s land mass, I’m sure we could squeeze in a few more houses.
There are a variety of restrictive planning laws in this country which need to be relaxed. Although we are a relatively small country we do not use our land effectively and that has real effects on the life and prosperity of Britain’s residents.