Build on boring fields, says minister
Developers should be allowed to build on fields if they are boring, the planning minister has said, after a fellow Tory minister accused him and David Cameron failing to protect the countryside.
In controversial comments, Nick Boles said people must be "realistic" about the need for more housing, which will mean building on "environmentally uninteresting" green spaces.
He made the remarks in a letter to Anna Soubry, a Conservative health minister, who wrote to his department to warn that housing is being built on the Green Belt despite David Cameron's "repeated assurances" it will be protected.
Mr Boles underlined protections for the Green Belt but was unable to guarantee it will be safe in and around Mrs Soubry's constituency, while arguing it is necessary to build on some fields.
"Given a two million increase in our population over the last ten years and historic under-provision of housing we have to be realistic that not all the housing that we as a country need can be on brownfield land," he said. "In some places, this may mean buliding on low quality, environmentally uninteresting fields. In exceptional circumstances, it may involve a Green Belt review."
The row underlines the concerns of many Tory MPs in rural constituencies, including the Prime Minister's personal aide Sam Gyimah, who are fighting unwanted development.
It is not the first time Mr Boles has provoked the ire of countryside-lovers. Earlier this year, he suggested housing provides more "human happiness" than fields.
What constitutes 'boring' countryside? Boring to who?
These attacks on the Green Belt and driven by two factors, the obvious profit motive and the need to house the legions of cheap foreign labour imported to our shores. Neither are surprising given who is running this country. Our countryside is a jewel bequethed to us by our ancestors. That it should be paved over to make a few quid for developers and in order to house Mohammed or Simba (plus his family of twelve) is criminal.
How to solve the housing crisis without destroying the countryside? 'Stop immigration, start repatriation'.
Migration Watch wrote:A migrant arrives almost every minute but they leave at only just over half that rate.
More people have now migrated to the UK in a single year (2010) than did so in the entire period from 1066 to 1950, excluding wartime.
We must build a new home every seven minutes for new migrants.
England is already, with the Netherlands, the most crowded country in Europe, excluding island and city states.
The population of the UK will grow by over 7 million to 70 million in the next 15 years, 5 million due to immigration - that is the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Oxford.