Government Minister Mark Prisk believes that building new homes is the answer to the problem of rising rents and the lack of affordable homes.
According to the 'Empty Homes' website, in November 2011 there were 720,000 empty homes in England, and 930,000 in the whole of the UK, of which approximately 350,000 are long-term empty.
Why then, if there are so many empty homes, does the Government keep insisting that we need to build new homes, and is even considering relaxing the Green Belt laws in order to permit house building in our precious countryside? Surely they should be trying to fill the existing empty homes before building new ones?
I accept that many of these homes are not currently fit for habitation, but there are plenty of builders, joiners, plumbers, electricians, etc. out there whom, I am sure, would welcome the opportunity to work at putting these places to rights. Those homes which are beyond repair could be demolished and replaced with new homes on the same sites.
Only when these empty homes have been tackled, and all of the brown field sites used up, should anyone even think of debating the destruction of our Green Belt. Hopefully, it will never come to that.