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Think building on Green Belt will solve the housing crisis? Think again

Alice Roberts
By Alice Roberts
9th November 2023

We need to build new homes in London. But building them on Green belt is unnecessary and the worst possible option for London.

Today we publish Think building on Green Belt will solve the housing crisis, think again, the first in a series about protecting London’s parks and green spaces.

CPRE London wants to preserve our Green Belt because its purpose is to control urban sprawl (high-carbon, car-dependent and land-hungry as it is) and promote inner city regeneration. In performing these functions, Green Belt also preserves countryside which is increasingly valuable in tackling the climate and nature crises: it is a home for nature, and helps manage rainfall and air temperature during extreme weather events. It’s also the countryside on our doorstep for millions of Londoners.

But we also wants to see much stronger action on housing and we are increasingly concerned to hear politicians say building on Green Belt will solve the housing crisis.

In this new report, we explain why it’s misleading. Land-supply is not the problem. There are half a million homes with planning permission which haven’t been built.

The new London Mayor should protect London’s Green Belt, strictly apply ‘brownfield first’ policy, be clear that there building on Green Belt will not solve London’s housing crisis, and instead support housing policies which have a realistic chance of helping the millions of Londoners now facing devastating costs just to put a roof over their head.

Our election work

CPRE London’s commitment to London’s parks and green spaces
✓ We support local groups, helping them save vital parks; and supporting them to create new parks from neglected and derelict green spaces.
✓ We identify the reasons spaces are coming under threat and work to tackle the causes.
✓ We champion parks, green spaces, Metropolitan Open Land and Green Belt, showing why they are so important.
✓ We publicise threats and advocate for political commitment, new policies and legislation to tackle them.

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