Malthouse: no part of country will be untouched by government's housing drive

Planning minister Kit Malthouse today warned anti-development campaigners that "no part of the country is going to go untouched" by the government's drive to boost housing numbers to meet its "mythical target" of 300,000 homes a year.

Malthouse: Planners must overcome 'screams and shouts' of homeowning generation. Image: UK Parliament
Malthouse: Planners must overcome 'screams and shouts' of homeowning generation. Image: UK Parliament

Speaking this morning at the launch of a report calling for greater efforts to ensure the quality of new homes, Malthouse told planners and architects they have a major role to play in overcoming the "screams and shouts of a generation that owns its homes already".

Malthouse warned anti-development campaigners that "no part of the country is going to go untouched" under the government’s housing drive.

The housing minister contrasted the views of an older generation that demands "beauty and ornamentation" with those of younger people who are so desperate to see homes built that they "don’t care where it is, what it looks like".

Malthouse recalled a recent visit to Devon where he said he met with around 200 supporters of the countryside campaign group the Campaign to Protect Rural England who claimed development would "spoil" their area.

The housing minister said that, during the meeting, it emerged that only a third of the campaigners were born in the county.

He said that the campaigners had a "reflective moment about whether they were pulling the drawbridge up behind them".

Malthouse said design quality would be crucial to addressing the concerns of a homeowning generation while meeting the needs of young people.

"A critical part of the mission to get to this mythical target of 300,000 houses a year is, if we’re going to get local people to accept those houses, we have to build something they’re going to like," he said.

Malthouse recently said the government’s housing targets would not be allowed to compromise the design quality of new homes.

The housing minister has also called on developers to factor in the need for high standards of design when assessing the viability of housing schemes.


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