Should more babies mean more homes on Evesham’s green-belt?

On the back of eight years of ever increasing birth rates, a significant 1.35 babies were born for every new home that was built in Wychavon during 2016. In the long term, a high birth rate should mean that Evesham property prices remain resilient; despite the economic challenges of recent years.

The ratio of births to new homes has reached one of its highest levels since 1945. The latest figures show that in Wychavon, we had an average of 58.5 births per 1,000 women (aged 15 to 44). Interestingly, the national average is 61.7 births per 1,000 women and for the region its 63.9 births per 1,000 women.

Combined with ever-increasing life expectancy in the Evesham area, the high levels of net migration into the area over the last 14 years and the higher predominance of single person households; this can only mean one thing… an increase in the need for housing in Evesham.

The simple fact is that more homes still need to be built in Evesham… both for sale and to rent.

Only 1.1% of our country is currently developed with homes and while I don’t advocate building tower blocks in the middle of the Cotswolds, the current obsession with not building on any green-belt land should be carefully re-considered.

Perhaps we should adopt a new approach that enables more areas of the countryside to be considered for sympathetic development. Rather than looking at the green-belt purely for its visual and leisure appeal, perhaps we need to assess how it could help to shape the way we all live in the future.

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