The proportion of English residents who oppose more homes being built in their local area dropped by 15 per cent between 2010 and 2013, according to government-commissioned research, Planning Resource website reports.
The British Social Attitudes Survey, carried out for the Department for Communities and Local Government by NatCen Social Research, found that overall opposition to new homes fell considerably between 2010 and 2013, from 46 to 31 per cent.
At the same time, support for new homes rose from 28 per cent to 47 per cent, the survey found.
According to the research, the fall in opposition to new housebuilding was biggest among those aged over 65. In 2010, more than half of over 65s (51 per cent) were opposed to new homes being built in their local area. This fell to less than a third (30 per cent) by 2013, the survey found.
In 2013, opposition to new homes was highest among respondents living in ‘a small city or town’ (34 per cent), ‘a country village’ (32 per cent) or ‘suburbs’ (32 per cent), the survey found. Opposition was lowest among those living in large cities (17 per cent).
According to the survey, when respondents were asked if they would be more supportive if they were given greater control over what gets built in their local area, 63 per cent said this would make them more supportive.
Eighty-two per cent of respondents to the survey agreed there was a shortage of homes that were affordable to buy in England, with 73 per cent thinking that there was a shortage of homes that were affordable to buy in their local area.
Meanwhile, 58 per cent of respondents said that they would be more supportive to new homes if the government “brought in changes so that when people from a local community come together to get involved in planning for new development, that community can receive extra money to be spent locally”.
NatCen Social Research chief executive Penny Young said: “These findings suggest that the difficulties faced by young people seeking to get on the housing ladder have cut through with the public as a whole.
“In particular, the parents of ‘Generation Rent’ have recognised that if their children are going to see the benefits of homeownership then new houses are needed.”
Public attitudes to new house building: Findings from the 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey are available here.