Fixing our broken housing market

The availability of land is an incredibly sensitive issue because there is an invisible “elephant in the room”. That is us. That is you and me and all our friends and relatives who live in houses near to, or on the edge of settlements. We all fiercely object to anything that might disrupt the convenience of our lives.

Assuming that we shall shortly run out of brownfield land, we must accommodate more development by building either upwards or outwards. In towns and cities it has to be upwards. In the country, we need a re-think. It is a simple proposition. Either we build upwards in and around villages, or we take more agricultural land - whether or not it is part of a green belt.

I was born when dinosaurs ruled the Earth - almost. We used to sit in mighty concaves on a continent that no longer exists to talk about global warming and cooling. But, do you know, we were worse than decimated by a pesky meteor.

The introduction to the green paper points out that we need 250,000 more houses a year to keep up with population growth. However, the Government figures shamelessly duck the issue of future immigration. If we take the broad assumption that every two immigrants need one home, and that immigration will stick at 100,000 per year, we need 50,000 more homes. Of course new arrivals do not immediately move into new houses, but they add to the general population, so somewhere along the line, those extr