The number of people in the UK who support new homes being built in their local area is more or less unchanged in recent years, official figures show.
Some 55% were supportive of new building in 2017, down slightly from the 56% recorded in 2014, according to the British Social Attitudes survey published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
However, looking further back shows that there has been an increase in support over time, up from 47% in 2013 and 28% in 2010.
The data also shows that last year some 21% of people were opposed to new homes being built in their local area, the same as in 2014, and less than the proportion of respondents who were opposed in 2013 at 31% and in 2010 at 46%.
Net opposition, which is the percentage of those saying they are opposed minus those saying they are supportive, has reduced from 18% in 2010 to -16% in 2013 and -34% in both 2014 and 2017. The report says that this shows that in 2013, 2014 and 2017, the number of people supporting more homes being built in the local area was greater than the number opposing.
In 2010 some 5% of survey respondents stated that they strongly supported more homes being built in their local area and this increased to 14% in 2017 while the strength of opposition to new homes decreased since 2010.
In 2017, the proportion of respondents stating they would strongly oppose new homes being built in their local areas was 5% compared to 15% in 2010.
Those who were opposed to new homes or were neither supportive nor opposed were asked what would make them more supportive. The replies included more employment opportunities, more medical facilities, more schools, improved transport, more green spaces and more affordable homes.
Respondents were asked whether the provision of a cash payment for households who lived close to a proposed development would influence their support. The majority of respondents, some 65%, stated that a cash payment would make no difference, 23% said it would make them ‘more supportive’ or ‘much more supportive’ and 9% stated the cash payment would make them ‘more opposed’ or ‘much more opposed’.
The survey also asked who should be responsible for deciding where new homes are built. Half of respondents said local councils should be responsible and 41% said local communities should decide where new homes are built.
Respondents were asked to select whether they would choose to rent or buy if they had a free choice. The majority, 88%, said they would choose to buy and 11% would choose to rent. This figure has changed little in the last 30 years.
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