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Brits back building on their home patch says new survey

The results of a recent British Social Attitudes Survey have identified a change in mindset among the 2,036 adults surveyed. The findings confirm that more Brits are supportive of new housing being built locally than they were six years ago.

ComRes, who conducted the survey for the Centre for Policy Studies, was commissioned to investigate how the public regarded the current housing crisis and lack of available and affordable housing. Feedback confirmed that 48% of voters were in favour of new housing being built in their area, with 33% against. Those in favour spanned all age groups, political affiliation and social demographic.

Only the south-east returned a vote not in favour of more new houses being built in the region. Those polled also were unequivocal in agreeing that local house prices were excessive. In London, 79% of people agreed, while in the north-east of England 45% shared that view. Overall the margin ranged from 63% down to 19%, but all took the view that prices were too high in their respective areas.

The poll continued to highlight that people aspire to home ownership more than renting, demonstrating that there is a universal demand for more new housing and backing for the government’s housing strategy.

Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies said: “Unsurprisingly, this polling backs up the assumption that people want houses they can afford and think that house price inflation has gone way too far.

NIMBYism on the wane

“What’s interesting about this poll is that a significant majority, 48% of voters, support more homes being built in their local area. This is a huge shift from attitudes even a few years ago where NIMBYism was the clear winner.

“It’s clear from this polling that if this Government is to win over ordinary working people, fixing the housing crisis should be top of ministers’ to do list.”

Although the majority of voters backed limited building in rural areas, opposition remains unchanged since 2010, to reducing the restrictions on constructing on green belt near rail station, existing infrastructure, or allowing building on the least attractive land within it.

The message is clear: local residents who see the benefit in their communities from additional housing being built are inclined to support new development, which offers a higher quality of housing.

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