One ‘celebrity’ accountant claims to have found the solution to the housing crisis: overgrown gardens.
In a new book dubiously titled ‘How to Solve the Housing Crisis: and save £50 billion’, Chris Rowland Thomas says that extending permitted development rights to gardens could produce 450,000 homes a year and produce £50 billion over five years for the Treasury.
Having studied the situation for years, accountant Thomas believes he has the answer – and it lies with the millions of baby boomers who were bestowed with affordable housing.
“The great thing about my solution is that it not only saves tens of billions, but also adds hundreds of thousands of homes to the market,” said Thomas. “It covers every facet you could imagine – planning, financing, incentives, possible abuse, mortgages and affordability. The good news is that actually baby boomers lose very little, and the greenbelt stays intact.”
Thomas added, “We first need a little change to legislation. What we do is extend the well-used and credible ‘permitted development’ rules to gardens. But, with strong planning constraints that outlaw the aggressive developers of the past and those who would spoil the neighbourhood or exploit the relief.
“We are left with an easy planning solution for large underutilised or overgrown gardens. Home owners could take this benefit up and make us all winners. The country would save money, create employment and, with inbuilt incentives, get the affordable homes we need right away at no Treasury cost.”