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Big builders exploiting loophole to build on greenfield land

Unaffordable greenfield developments being pushed through on appeal:

  • Current planning rules create licence for private developers to print money by building executive homes on greenfield sites
  • Charity calls instead for affordable social housing for those being priced out of Sussex
  • Deep pocketed developers winning on appeal against cash-strapped councils
  • The larger the proposed development, the more likely it is to succeed on appeal

Big housebuilders are exploiting the Government’s ‘five-year housing land supply’ requirement of local plans to force through major developments on greenfield land, according to a new CPRE report.

CPRE Sussex wants to see new, affordable social housing for people in our communities who are currently being priced out of the Sussex countryside.

But research published this week shows what we have instead is planning rules that hand over decisions to large-scale private developers instead of local people and their elected representatives.

Meanwhile, individuals and small local builders find it much harder to successfully challenge decisions.

‘Still Targeting the Countryside’ highlights how 22,500 homes were allowed at appeal on greenfield sites nationally between August 2020 and August 2022.

It found a lack of five-year housing supply was a determining factor in 62% of all successful appeals for major development on greenfield sites.

The majority of schemes went against local plans and were largely market, rather than affordable, housing.

The report, published by the national CPRE charity, includes a case study from West Wittering, West Sussex.

‘Still targeting the Countryside’ makes a number of recommendations for central government.

Read full press release: Press release – Still targeting the countryside

Read the full report: