House Building Motion
- High rents and high house prices have become a worry for many ordinary people, especially people in private rented housing who face rising rents.
- Housing costs as a proportion of income have risen substantially in recent years for the poorest fifth and for people under 25.
- Only 9% of UK land is developed, of which only 1% is taken up by housing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Policies of urban containment pursued through protection of green belts constrain development and therefore puts upward pressure on land prices and rents.
- 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.
- Urban containment forces commuters to live further away from their workplaces, increasing commute time and hence the environmental impact of commutes.
- 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.
- 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:
- Green belts chiefly benefit those who live on or near them, while worsening urban quality of life.
- Ensuring that there are adequate green spaces within urban areas should be a priority.
- 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:
- Liberal Youth to call upon the Liberal Democrats to oppose policies of urban containment.
- 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.
- 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.
- Liberal Youth to call upon the Liberal Democrats to remove Green Belt designation from intensely farmed land.