New homes – the real number needed.

There’s no denying that providing genuinely affordable homes in the right places is one of the greatest domestic challenges of our times.

More than 150 people packed a seminar in Tiverton this month to hear the key findings of a major new independent report into Devon’s future housing needs, commissioned by our charity – the Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Does this look familiar?


The study, by leading research company Opinion Research Services (ORS), revealed the stark truth behind ‘official’ assessments of the number of new homes needed by people in both rural and urban parts of the county. The three main findings CPRE Devon takes from the report are:
● Too many homes are being planned for Devon over the next decade
● Most of these new homes are planned to be built on greenfield sites
● A staggering two-thirds of Devon’s planned new housing will be bought by people who have moved into the county.


‘Devon Housing Needs Evidence 2018’ (The report available from CPRE Devon) reveals that the number of new homes planned for Devon is a considerable over-estimate, based on a flawed Government methodology for assessing future housing needs. The research also contradicts claims made by the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) – at our seminar in January – that the majority of Devon’s new homes (90% in the East Devon new town of Cranbrook) are being built to meet local housing need; by contrast, ORS found that two-thirds are being built to satisfy demand from inward migration. It also demonstrates that current Local Plans for Devon are failing to make provision for enough homes of the right type and in the right places.

Relentless developments

In many ways, these finding came as no surprise to us. As a local independent environmental charity working to protect Devon’s countryside, green spaces and landscapes
for the benefit of all, we’ve long suspected the truth of this sorry situation. For years, the Government has consistently overestimated the number of new homes needed and local authorities are being forced to plan for them. Despite projections for the future showing lower rates of growth in the number of new households, Whitehall seems hell-bent on increasing the rate of housebuilding. It’s time to start building the homes that are needed in locations where they are needed, rather than the soulless housing estates that big
developers inflict on us to increase their profits. And it’s high time our Local Planning Authorities took stock of what local communities really need – genuinely affordable homes on brownfield sites wherever possible, and making sure that we don’t lose any more of our precious countryside.

CPRE Devon’s mission is to protect our countryside in a way that underpins the local economy whilst maintaining the balance between necessary development and a tranquil, productive and beautiful environment. If you love the Devon countryside and support our aims, please join us! / 01392 966737

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.