House Building Motion

House Building Motion

 

Conference notes:   

  1. High rents and high house prices have become a worry for many ordinary people, especially people in private rented housing who face rising rents.
  2. Housing costs as a proportion of income have risen substantially in recent years for the poorest fifth and for people under 25.
  3. Only 9% of UK land is developed, of which only 1% is taken up by housing.
  4. Green belts cover 13% of UK land, and of that land, more than a third is devoted to intensive agriculture, which has a net environmental cost through the use of pesticides and herbicides.
  5. Living near green spaces is beneficial to residents' health and happiness, and the positive effects of natural areas drop  off sharply for people who live further away from them.
  6. Policies of urban containment pursued through protection of green belts constrain development and therefore puts upward pressure on land prices and rents.
  7. Urban containment inevitably leads to urban densification, which results in a lower quality of life as house prices and rents rise, people have to live in smaller houses.
  8. Urban containment forces commuters to live further away from their workplaces, increasing commute time and hence the environmental impact of commutes.
  9. Urban containment has negative implications for businesses, which are affected by high rents and costs of premises, as well as facing constraints on potential expansion.
  10. Current Liberal Democrat policy, which includes a commitment to building 300, 000 houses a year, and the creation of a Housing Investment Bank.

 

Conference believes that:

  1. Green belts chiefly benefit those who live on or near them, while worsening urban quality of life.
  2. Ensuring that there are adequate green spaces within urban areas should be a priority.
  3. With rising rents and house prices in cities, expansion in the supply of housing is necessary to bring housing costs down to affordable levels.

 

Conference calls upon:

  1. Liberal Youth to call upon the Liberal Democrats to oppose policies of urban containment.
  2. Liberal Youth to call on the Liberal Democrats to support building on green belts in cases where there is a clear need for additional local housing which cannot feasibly be met through the development of brownfield sites.
  3. Liberal Youth to call upon the Liberal Democrats to support local planning which allows for liveable, affordable cities, where green spaces are dispersed throughout built-up areas, not concentrated on the outskirts.
  4. Liberal Youth to call upon the Liberal Democrats to remove Green Belt designation from intensely farmed land.
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