Green belt 'hampering economic recovery'

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Mon Jun 3 14:58:13 BST 2013

Green belt 'hampering economic recovery'

Michael Donnelly, Planning Resource, Thursday 30th May 2013

The UK's green belt policies are an 'important constraint on the supply
of housing', according to a European Commission report on boosting
competitiveness, economic growth and job creation.

The European Commission said the document, one of a series of country
specific reports for 23 EU member states, "offers guidance on budgetary
and economic policies for 2013-14".

The commission said the recommendations are part of its strategy to help
Europe "reduce unemployment and achieve sustainable growth".

For the UK, the report says that house prices "remain high and volatile
in the context of a housing shortage".

It says that the government "has taken action to reform the spatial
planning laws but residential construction remains at a low level and
the planning system, including green belt restrictions, continues to be
an important constraint on the supply of housing".

The report also warns that the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which
offers equity loans for people buying new homes and government
guarantees on up to £130 billion worth of high loan-to-value mortgages,
could "stimulate housing demand more than supply".

Help to Buy "could potentially exacerbate this situation by increasing
house prices and household debt," the report says.

Last week, international finance body the International Monetary Fund
also warned that the Help to Buy scheme could cause further house price
increases if the supply of new homes fails to keep up with demand.

The report can be read at --


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(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
email - mobbsey at
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