Two million homes in Gordon Brown's housing plan would need to be built on undeveloped land or green-belt sites says report

The Social Market Foundation has warned that around two million homes would need to be built on either previously undeveloped Countryside, or green belt land.

The government has asserted that it will actively protect belt green belts as it implements Gordon Brown’s housing development target of 3m homes by 2020. It said the majority would be developed on brownfield sites.

But a study by the SMF has indicated that even at a density level equivalent to London, only around one third of that target could be on brownfield land.

The report also suggested that the green belt “was not as green as people believe”, with some of the areas containing ex-industrial sites and wasteland. The organisation has called for a rethink of the areas and people’s perceptions of green belt.

SMF director Anne Rossiter said in a radio interview: “We have to face the fact that if we want [future generations] to have somewhere to live of a decent standard, those homes are going to have to go somewhere. Maybe they have to go in a field next to our house, or near a view we’ve always loved, but that’s the reality of the situation.”