Government plans to resolve the housing crisis by building garden settlements and new towns across the UK have proved to be a springboard for protest movements. Central to the protestors argument is that development should take place in urban areas because rural locales can’t take any more people. They point to an absence of jobs and infrastructure to sustain an expanding population. But are they right?

The aspirations of current housing policy are twofold: one, that an expanded supply is desirable in itself (the home-ownership dream), and two, that it will create jobs.

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