Cameron’s fetish for housing numbers pays little attention to community needs, argues town planning expert

The current housing crisis cannot be resolved by simply building more homes, a Birmingham City University expert warns the Conservative Party as they launch their manifesto.

The focus needs to be on the future communities we want to create, rather than how many houses we need to build, according to Alister Scott, Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning.

Professor Scott said: “Cameron is getting carried away with the pledge of 400,000 new homes being built without taking the community into consideration and the required services needed to support the creation of these homes.

“We need more homes with good infrastructure services, including green space for recreation and exercise, but also for flood protection and water quality.”

Professor Scott also believes in a more productive green belt. He says the government’s obsession with economic growth is failing to make the best use of natural assets.

“There is a danger of viewing the countryside as a place to protect, when in fact it needs economic growth and development too. The simple and populist idea of cramming development into urban areas needs to stop.

“The countryside definitely isn’t safe under the political parties but developments need clearer guidance and less of these cheap election gimmicks to ensure it’s done properly. Planning policies are currently too vague and they need to be certain that developments are being sought in the right places.”

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