A report by the Social Market Foundation says the government will fail to meet its target of 3m new homes by 2020 without building on greenfield or green belt land.

The report says there is only enough brownfield land for 1m homes, and even if new homes were created at a higher density there would still only be enough brownfield land for up to 2.1m new homes.

‘A significant proportion of housing will need to be built on Greenfield sites,’ says the report. ‘The SMF argues that there may be a case for reconsidering the future of the green belt, which often protects neither wildlife nor areas of outstanding beauty.’