Public over-estimate extent of past development, but welcome more

A new poll for the British Property Federation by Ipsos MORI has found that most of the English public over-estimate how much of England's land has been developed, but support new development if it generates jobs and affordable homes.

A new poll for the British Property Federation by Ipsos MORI has found that most of the English public over-estimate how much of England’s land has been developed, but support new development if it generates jobs and affordable homes.

Just under one in ten English adults (9%) think that three-quarters or more of the country is built on and 63% think that more than a quarter is developed, much higher than the true proportion of a tenth.

The survey is released to coincide with BPF’s annual conference today. It shows that the English public support new development in the local area if it leads to new jobs (61%) or affordable homes (66%).

At the same time, more agree than disagree that ‘There is already enough development here’ (49% to 27%) with opinion divided on ‘In the past, new development has changed the character of the area for the worse’ (34% agree, 31% disagree).

New development is, though, welcomed by all groups and geographies if it helps create jobs or affordable homes – for example, even among those who agree that there is ‘already enough development here’, a majority, 53%, welcome development for jobs while 59% welcome development for homes.

Respondents were asked which one, if any, of three possible responses to neighbourhood planning best applies. One in eight, 12%, say they would be willing to help prepare such a plan. Just over a quarter, 27%, say they would vote in a referendum on whether or not to approve such a plan. A third 33%, say they would support the establishment of a neighbourhood plan. A further 28% answer none or don’t know.

Technical note

Technical details: Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,699 English adults aged 16+, face-to-face in-home, between 27 April and 3 May 2012. Data have been weighted to the national population profile.

* 10% of English land is developed – source: www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

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