Recent articles and letters in Property Week about the failure to build enough homes make fascinating reading.

There have been 40 years of housing policy failure by governments of all political persuasions. Why will it be different this time? Put baldly, do we have the will to resolve the housing crisis?

Relying on brownfield as the primary land source in places such as the home counties is not convincing.

Many residents choosing to live in the countryside, told of the possibility of large-scale new housing development close by, will be concerned, perhaps horrified.

The gut response will be: is even more of our green and pleasant land to be swallowed up with identikit suburban estates? Will our much-loved local area change irreparably? This fear of change is deep-rooted.

Simply put, local residents in these areas must be persuaded. If not, the impasse will continue. But we owe it to our children to find an answer.

There is a solution but it will take time and will depend upon local consensus: it is strategic planning and delivery on a long-term basis. The short-term five-year electoral cycle cannot deliver. To win local trust, planning and delivery must take place on a locally based, non-adversarial but consensually designed agenda.

Residents expect to be part of the process. Their inclusion must be guaranteed. A similar guarantee is also owed to the next generation. After all, private ownership is what 90% of people want.

Those who say it cannot be done need to look again at the failure of the system since the 1970s and think again. Short-term attitudes have failed. Visionary building solutions with dedicated delivery programmes need time and consistent cross-party political support.

Finding the right balance between residents’ fears and generation rent’s frustrated expectations is the objective. Harsh financial reality must not banish the new generation from their local roots, their families and their friends. Local residents’ quiet enjoyment is equally important, but the current impasse is not good enough.

Ian Campbell, property consultant

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