LSE professor Paul Cheshire, a leading government adviser, has called for a thousand “commuter villages” totalling 2.1m new homes to be built on the green belt near railway stations to help solve the housing crisis. Prof Cheshire said building communities within walking distance of 1,035 under-used stations would let residents commute to urban jobs, shortening commuting times and without adding to traffic and air pollution. The 47,000 hectares of land needed would represent just 1.8% of the green belt, much of it under-used or agricultural land, he notes, while increasing the number of homes in Britain by almost 10%.
The proposals, in a report for think-tank Centre for Cities, also calls for community infrastructure levies to be replaced by a 20% charge on developers when they sell houses. He concludes: “It is time to use land for its best social purpose: not to remain fenced in by inflexible boundaries imposed in 1955.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 8