For decades, England has failed to build enough homes for its growing and ageing population. Chronic undersupply has contributed to the country having some of the most unaffordable homes in the developed world, which has been a drag on productivity and causes a political headache for any party wishing to win over younger voters.
Both the Conservatives and Labour have committed to building 300,000 new homes a year. Where these are built is of critical importance to the environment, but a weak planning system is failing to shape a built environment fit for net zero and nature restoration, creating communities that have no choice but to rely on a private car and leading to sprawl on previously greenfield land.
Grappling with planning policy is not for the faint hearted but building more homes in environmentally preferable places is socially, economically and ecologically necessary.