Plans to demolish 400,000 homes in the North are “sheer folly”.

400,000 homes in the north of England have been ear-marked for demolition in the next 15 years, at the same time as planners say that 200,000 more affordable house are needed in the South East. According to a report in today’s Telegraph, the properties, many of which are occupied, have been identified as “low demand” in a report by the regional development agencies.

Most of the properties are Victorian. The report says that 1.5 million homes in the North are in areas of “market failure”, and that the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, from where the figure of 400,000 originates.

A spokesman from the Campaign to Protect Rural England told the Telegraph: “The sheer folly of these plans is breathtaking.”

Sir Graham Hall, chairman of the Northern Way steering group, described the plan as: “a once in a lifetime chance for the North to shape its own destiny by bringing about change.”