I’ve been doing some (dare I say) digging on the green belt issue.
With more than 2,000 approvals already granted for houses no one wants to build, static prices and an embarrassing surplus of houses on the market, I’ve been trying to find out who will buy all the planned extra houses.
I am reliably informed from the top that Cheshire East Council is in no great need of additional social housing.
The private sector is awash with homes of all sizes, prices and locations, as internet site Rightmove will testify.
So why the rush to invade the green belt? Who’s going to buy all these houses?
You’re not going to like the answer. The answer is…no one.
That precious green belt land is going to be purchased with planning approval and salted away in land banks to be developed as and when demand justifies the cost.
In other words, developers will hold it back until demand indicates they can make a serious profit. They’ll simply sit on it for as long as it takes for demand to exceed supply.
That, my friends, is how the game is played and that is why there is no appetite for building on brownfield sites, which are far more costly to develop. What builder is going to pursue expensive brownfield land that must be cleared and made good when the green belt is up for grabs? (No costly clearing and levelling required.)
I have invited everyone in the business to tell me who will buy all these additional homes and no one has a clue. They do all agree, however, that the opportunity to grab green belt land and bank it for future profit is one not to be missed.