MP Nick Boles calls for homes to be built on open land

Have your say

Bourne MP Nick Boles says the area of developed land in England should be increased by a third solving the country’s housing crisis.

Mr Boles, the Bourne and Stamford MP who was made planning minister in a government reshuffle in September, says doing so would involve building on another two to three per cent of land.

Mr Boles said: “There are many people in their 20s, working hard, making decent wages who can not afford a place to live and I think my constituents will agree with me that we need to put that right.

“There will always be some people who object but the generality of opinion has not been to fight it.

“We can work to plan where 88 per cent of England is still undeveloped and solve our housing crisis. “

Nine per cent of land in England is developed and he believes it should be nearer 12 per cent.

Mr Boles also called for “beautiful” housing to be built that was sensitive to its local area quoting Stamford as an example of attractive housing.

The MP said: “The built environment can be more beautiful than nature and we shouldn’t obsess about the fact that the only landscapes that are beautiful are open; sometimes buildings are better.”

Yesterday Mr Boles delivered a speech to the Town and County Planning Association where he said: “We are trapped in a vicious circle.

“People look at the new housing estates that have been bolted on to their towns and villages in recent decades and observe that few of them are beautiful. Indeed, not to put too fine a point on it, many of them are pig-ugly.”

He said local councils were responding to the wishes of voters by putting too few sites for development in their local plans, which was driving up the cost of land,.He hopes that by increasing the amount of land which could be developed, prices would fall allowing developers to build more “beautiful” properties.