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Housing crunch

It is without question that Britain is now feeling the effects of population growth and that investment is needed in new housing, town planning and regeneration.

However, I am still baffled at how the Government has conjured up the premise that three million new homes are to be built in the UK by 2020.

With such rash optimism, are the foundations being laid for the creation of poorly built housing which will lead to unequipped and discontented communities?

To create such a huge growth in housing, the Government will have to increase the labour force at a time when we cannot fill our low-skilled industries and are having to find labourers from abroad.

Ironically, the people who will build these homes are the precise group we are trying to house with the continual growth in immigration.

Furthermore, we will then have to see the value of this accommodation reduced in order to allow them to purchase these homes. Therefore the question is: are these projects economically sustainable after completion?

There are, of course, positive examples of regeneration and development such as The Thames Gateway, but this area has highlighted that it is imperative that development is done with precise planning and an element of caution.

Steve Wilbourn
senior partner and head of commercial property
Batchelors Solicitors