Tuesday May 18 2021



In Full . . .


Posted on March 29 2018 at 11:17:36

Building homes on green fields is a profitable business. It is much simpler than taking on the challenge of brownfield sites and then, more often than not, the new homes have a greater value because of their lovely location.

It’s even more profitable at the moment because the Government’s Help to Buy scheme means you can ask even higher prices, knowing the Treasury will top up the already humungous mortgages first-time buyers have to beg for.

How profitable it is can be seen by the £99 million bonus one building company chief executive was awarded this year.

Lips will now be being licked in boardrooms across the land at the prospect of the thousands of acres of virgin fields emerging from the pages of the GL Hearn study into how Birmingham’s housing pressure can be shared by other areas under the “duty to co-operate” between neighbouring councils, invented in the Localism Bill of 2011.

If it was difficult enough getting developers interested in building new homes on previously-used sites in the middle of cities (where homes are actually needed), it will become near-impossible with ideas like this being floated among planners.

Who wouldn’t wait it out while the pressure grows on the Government from the country’s chronic lack of housing supply until it relents and relaxes controls on building in the highly profitable Green Belt?

As for our villages . . . if this idea for a new town conjoining Alvechurch, Hopwood, Barnt Green and, probably, Blackwell ever came to fruition, it would mean their end.

Some people might welcome this and, in a utopia, perhaps it could create a wonderful, perfectly-planned place to live and work. In reality, we live in a profit-driven world where promises are all too easily forgotten.

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