Architects in call for green belt reform to tackle housing crisis

REFORMS to the green belt system are likely to be required to accommodate the extra houses the UK must build each year, according to new research this morning.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) joined a growing chorus of voices calling for reform to the green belt system, suggesting greenfield land could be reclassified by how much it is used and how environmentally valuable it is.

With such a system, RIBA adds, it would be possible to hold on the most important parts of the green belt and countryside.

“If the government is serious about getting more homes built, they must step up to the plate and find the land for them to be built on,” said Duncan Stott, director of PricedOut, the campaign for affordable house prices.

According to previous estimates by RIBA’s Future Homes Commission, the UK will have to build 300,000 homes per year to keep up with household growth – more than twice as many as were constructed in 2013. RIBA president Stephen Hodder said reforming the green belt, building more homes and empowering UK cities to compete globally should all be priorities.