England has a housing crisis. We need to build many more new homes to house our growing population, but house building is controversial, particularly when it involves the loss of countryside.
Addressing both sides of this critical debate, Shaun Spiers argues that to drive house building on the scale needed, government must strike a contract with civil society: in return for public support and acceptance of the loss of some countryside, it must guarantee high quality, affordable developments, in the right locations. Simply imposing development, as recent governments of all political persuasions have attempted, will not work.
Focusing on house building and conservation politics in England, Spiers uses his considerable experience and extensive research to demonstrate why the current model doesn’t work, and why there needs to be both planning reform and a more active role for the state, including local government.
Shaun Spiers was Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) from 2004-2017. Founded in 1926, CPRE ‘campaigns for a beautiful and living countryside’. Before joining CPRE, Shaun was Chief Executive of ABCUL, the credit union trade association, and from 1994 – 1999 he was MEP for London South East. He is currently executive director of the environmental think-tank, Green Alliance.
How to think about housing and planning;
The housing crisis;
“This book is at once reasonable and visionary - a remarkable combination, and a remarkably important contribution to one of the most important social policy debates of our time. Everyone interested in the question of how to meet our urgent housing needs, while also protecting the landscape, should read it.” Sir Andrew Motion