• The think-tank, Centre for Cities, is pushing for Government to release up greenbelt land for housing development.
  • The greenbelt was introduced after World War 2 to prevent cities from sprawling out onto the countryside.
  • Government figures have revealed that almost half of new homes built in the next five years will go to migrants.
  • Research published by the Campaign to protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that local authorities are then burdened with ambitious housing targets that are often arbitrary and over-inflated.
  • UKIP want to protect the countryside from overdevelopment by incentivising developers to build on brownfield sites as opposed to the greenbelt and greenfield sites.
  • UKIP estimate that 2.5 million homes could be built on brownfield sites.

The British countryside is renowned for its natural beauty, rich in wildlife and beneficial to one’s mental health. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the conservation of the greenbelt, which was introduced after World War Two to prevent cities from sprawling out into our cherished countryside, is a high priority for many voters.

However, UKIP’s Environment Spokesman, Dr Julia Reid MEP, has expressed concern over increasing pressure to pave over Britain’s green-belt, in order to meet the rising demand for more houses.

Last month the think tank, Centre for Cities, claimed that the Government cannot address the housing crisis without building onto the greenbelt.

In response to this, Dr Julia Reid MEP, who represents the South West Counties & Gibraltar said: “As per our 2015 general election manifesto, we estimate that around 2.5 million homes could be built brownfield sites. Therefore, building on the greenbelt, or even greenfield sites should be out of the question during the rest of this decade and the next.

“They claim, that ruling out development on the green belt is a luxury the Government cannot afford if it is serious about tackling the housing crisis. What they should be asking themselves is; why do we have a housing crisis to begin with?”

“Well for starters, Government figures have revealed that almost half of new homes built in the next five years will go to migrants. Once we’ve left the EU, we can implement a sensible migration policy to control NET migration figures, thus vastly reducing the reducing the burden on local authorities.”

According to the think tank, Migration watch, 300 homes a day will need to be built each day, or a new home every five minutes, to house the new arrivals. This also means building new schools, new hospitals, and new roads, all at the detriment to our natural environment.

Dr Julia Reid said: “Uncontrolled mass migration into the UK has doubled the demand for new houses and placed a huge strain on the housing development sector, and then to make matters worse, research published by the Campaign to protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that local authorities are then burdened with ambitious housing targets that are often arbitrary and over-inflated.

“The local authorities are then held accountable for meeting the housing targets set by the Government, despite not being the ones who are responsible for actually building the new homes. When said housing targets are missed, it often results in the loosening of local planning controls, which in turn leads to developers choosing to build on the more profitable green-field sites whilst leaving the brownfield land untouched. Which is why, in our 2015 manifesto, we pledged that we would introduce financial incentives to developers in order to encourage them to build on brownfield sites instead.

“Furthermore, according to CPRE’s research, even when Greenfield land is released for development, this rarely result in faster building rates, meaning that our precious countryside is needlessly lost, and once it’s lost, it’s gone for good.”

ENDS