Green belt land in Sutton Coldfield

Green belt land in Sutton Coldfield

MP Andrew Mitchell reminds us: “There is a substantial stock of brownfield sites across the West Midlands.”

He adds that Birmingham has a backlog of 17,000 homes with planning permission – leading to demands to get them built and spare the green belt.

David Crook, speaking from years of successful experience, refers to widespread fears that measures, such as “Help to Buy” and “New Buy”, due to be introduced in January, will accelerate encroachment on the greenbelt and countryside.

In the Financial Times, he names some policies that would help to avoid this:

25% of construction under the plan should be restricted to brownfield developments.

Tax breaks, government mortgage guarantees, tax deductibility of loans or mortgages, or VAT and stamp duty reductions, should be provided to encourage:

  • the development of brownfield sites
  • and the conversion of disused high street shops and pubs to residential dwellings.

The resultant increase in the housing stock would help ease upward pressure on house prices and do so in an environmentally friendly way. And social housing is needed for those in the direst housing need.