Nearly two thirds of people support new development in their local area if it provides jobs and adequate affordable housing, according to research published today.
An Ipsos Mori poll carried out for the British Property Federation reveals 61% of those surveyed support development if it creates jobs for local people and 66% support development if enough affordable homes are provided for local residents.
The survey follows months of disputes between government officials and the public over reforms to the planning system, which many feared would result in a disproportional amount of development threatening the green belt.
But the survey also revealed apathy towards a pillar of the government’s Localism agenda - neighbourhood planning, which is designed to give residents a greater say on development within their local community.
Just 26% of respondents said they would vote in a referendum needed to approve a neighbourhood plan, and only 12% would be willing to help prepare a neighbourhood plan.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “There will always be a vocal minority, but these figures reveal that, by-and-large, the silent majority will support new development as long as the housing and employment benefits of a particular scheme are made clear to them.
“However, it’s also clear that there is a degree of apathy and scepticism towards the concept of neighbourhood planning that the government must overcome if this important pillar of Localism is to succeed. To have any democratic legitimacy, neighbourhood plans should be drawn up and endorsed through the ballot box by as wide a cross-section of the community as possible.”
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