For years, Governments of all colours have failed to build enough houses to meet demand…

Spare a thought for the people, particularly the 20-and-30-something millennials, who struggle to pay rent, and can only dream about affording a deposit to buy a home of their own.
For lots of us, rent or mortgages gobble up more than half our wages. That doesn’t leave much for other essentials like heating, food or clothes, let alone enjoying yourself after work in the evening.

The problem is decades of failed attempts, by governments of every political colour and type, to build enough houses. We only add 1 or 2% more living space to our existing housing each year, which isn’t nearly enough to keep up with demand. The result, pretty unsurprisingly, is spiralling rents and prices.

And that’s not fair. Which is why I’ve been campaigning to change our hideously complicated and expensive planning laws so we can ‘build up not out’ in towns and cities like Weston or Bristol instead.

Most of Britain’s homes are two stories tall. So if we let people turn them into good-looking 4 or 5 story town houses and mansion blocks, rather than sky-high tower blocks, we can nearly double the amount of potential space for homes at a stroke.

All that extra housing would make it far more affordable, whether it’s to rent or to buy.

It would be greener, because there’d be less need to concrete over green fields, and less commuting because people could live closer to work.

It would help regenerate places like central Weston, by attracting huge amounts of investment, and creating energy and life in the evenings after the shops have closed.

And it would give our town and cityscapes back their character, by stopping ‘anywhere-ville’ estates of identical houses so new homes use local materials and building styles which match the best of what’s already there.

You don’t have to be a millennial to think that sounds great!

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