The government’s housing plans have been put under further scrutiny as two pieces of research show falling public support.

A report by Saint Consulting revealed that 68% of the British public does not believe the government can deliver 3 million new homes by 2020.

At the same time the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has produced research showing that 53% of people are opposing the targets. As a result, it has launched a campaign to call for a government rethink.

Nick Keable, the UK manager of Saint Consulting, said: “We are seeing Nimbyism increasing and community activism against development spiralling upwards. It bodes badly for the government’s policy of increasing residential development.”

Saint Consulting revealed that the most sceptical group were the 55 to 64 year olds, but people were just as sceptical whether they lived in urban, rural or suburban areas.”

This debate requires balance, which this survey does not provide

Ian Fletcher, BPF

The CPRE’s research found half the respondents thought developers and landowners, not cash-strapped homebuyers, stood to gain from the plans. More than a quarter said the government should prioritise bringing empty properties back in to use.

Developers reacted angrily to the campaign. Ian Fletcher of the British Property Federation said: “This debate requires balance and quality evidence, which this survey contributes nothing to.”

Stewart Baseley, chief executive of the Home Builders Federation, said: “It’s a shame the CPRE has not considered the wider picture in its latest plea to protect the haves against the have-nots.”