Growth in public support for house-building provides opportunity for Government

surveyA new report has found that public support for house-building has doubled since 2010, with only one in five opposing residential construction in their local area.

According to the 2014 British Social Attitudes Survey conducted by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), opposition to new homes in England has continued to fall substantially between 2010 (46%) and 2014 (21%). Similarly, those supportive of house-building in their local area rose from 28% in 2010 and to 56% in 2014.

This growth in support has been taken by many involved in the house-building industry as a sign that the Government must capitalise on. Catherine Ryder, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said:

“The tide of public opinion has turned and the nation’s NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) are now outnumbered.

“Year after year, we’ve failed to build enough homes, with a backlog of over half a million homes in just four years. The majority of the public now want more homes, so politicians must be bold and commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said:

“The house-building industry, government and local communities need to capitalise on this shift in public opinion and work together to deliver the homes people clearly want to see.”

Mr. Berry added that small builders are well placed to deliver new homes on a local level. He said:

“Smaller local house-builders in particular are ideally placed to engage with communities, to produce quality designs in keeping with the local area and to make use of smaller brownfield sites which people want to see built.

“In return, local planning authorities need to continue to enable them to build by minimising bureaucracy and delays, and making more of smaller sites for the delivery of housing. Local and national government between them also need to make sure that planning offices are sufficiently resourced so that the planning system can do its job speedily and efficiently to deliver more homes.”

To view the 2014 British Social Attitudes Survey in full, click here

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