Britain needs more housing. But, so often, local residents justifiably believe that new housing in their area means a loss of public goods and amenities for them. This has led to a zero sum struggle where the debate is over who ought to be a winner and who ought to be a loser. Policy Exchange’s new paper Strong Suburbs cuts through that false dichotomy, providing a mechanism for local residents to benefit from, and control, new development.
By giving local residents control over the development they see, including its architecture and design, and by giving them a share in the wealth created, the paper shows how we can create more beautiful, walkable, and sustainable neighbourhoods, delivering millions of houses in the areas they are most needed. It lays out how this will benefit people with shorter commutes, larger and more modern fittings and interiors, space for new family members, and better jobs. And it explains how this could add billions to GDP over the coming 15 years, generating outdoor covid-proof jobs at all skill levels.