Brits want more housing just not in their back yard

16th September 2014

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The mission to solve Britain’s housing shortage is being thwarted by the “Not in My Back Yard” attitude of millions of residents, a new study has revealed.

The majority of people believe that more of the  UK should be built on in order to increase housing supply, but nearly half say they would oppose a major development in their immediate neighbourhood.

The survey by the Building Societies Association found that 90 per cent of people believe that 10 per cent of the country should be urban, which is defined as housing, gardens, train lines and parks. Currently just 7 per cent of the country is developed.

However, when asked how they would respond to a major housing site in the vicinity of their home, 49 per cent said they would object to building more than 300 properties and 53 per cent of would be against developments of between 100 and 299 properties.

The majority of Britons are only willing to support developments of one to 10 properties being built in their locality.

Despite their reluctance to accept change in their neighbourhoods, respondents appear to have a growing openness to living in different types of property.

One in five people say they would consider buying a shared ownership property, living in an off-the-shelf kit home, living in a converted retail or office space or renting long term.

More than a third of Britons are open to building their own home, although less than 10 per cent of properties built in the UK are custom build.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the BSA, says: “People are open to new developments and even different types of housing and tenure, but the message is clear: ‘not in my backyard’.

“Local opposition is a major barrier to any Government building its way out of the current housing crisis and is why we need the position of Housing Minister to be a full cabinet position and not just a Minister of State role.”

He adds: “The provision of housing and shelter is as essential to our country as health, education and defence and that will only come from strong leadership within Government making tough decisions.”

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