The housing crisis necessitates green belt reform


Monetary Policy
Press Release

The IEA appoints a new Chairman

Liberalise planning laws to boost housing development

Commenting on David Cameron’s housebuilding announcement, including a pledge to protect the green belt, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Constraining housebuilding through artificial boundaries such as green belt restrictions is a key reason why house prices in the UK are very high and new homes increasingly small. Yet again, instead of reforming planning for all, politicians are trying to plan where new homes should be built and micro-manage the damage caused by existing regulations which hamper private sector housebuilding. Ultimately people, not governments, need to decide where homes should be built.

“The potential gains from planning liberalisation are well documented: lower housing costs, a reduced cost of many goods and services, a better functioning labour market, and higher productivity and wages. It’s high time our politicians showed an appetite for taking on the vested interests opposed to reform.”

To arrange an interview please contact Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications: 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268.

Notes to editors:

To arrange an interview please contact Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications: 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268.

IEA research has shown that a liberalisation of planning rules surrounding the green belt and decentralisation of the tax system to incentivise development could cause house prices to drop by as much as 40 per cent, and could save a typical family £250 per month.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.