A DEARTH of housing is forcing 13 families to leave Newcastle each week as planning restrictions on green belt sites stunts Newcastle’s growth, it was claimed.
A rocketing population, skewed housing stock and the inflated cost of property has seen an exodus of people who are searching for affordable property.
Developers say that the city has failed to meet a requirement to build more than 15,200 homes between 1991 and 2011 to deal with the increased demand.
Over a 20-year period a backlog has built up and developers have been able to complete just a fifth of that figure with Newcastle building just 3,585 new homes.
In a move which will infuriate those seeking to safeguard tranquil North East neighbourhoods, developers have now urged council leaders to push ahead with controversial green belt housing plans.
Last night Philip Barnes, director of Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, said green belt restrictions were delaying much-needed property developments.
He said: “We have not been building the amount of housing to keep pace with the population growth.
“If the supply doesn’t keep up with the demand then the market reaction is to move out of the area – to somewhere like North Tyneside – where the prices are lower and the quality of product and environment is not significantly worse.
“Thirteen families leave Newcastle every week and most of them are not going to find jobs, they are doing it to get a house.”
Developers claim that the city council has failed to provide an adequate framework for developers to operate within and bureaucracy and green belt planning restrictions have been blamed for holding up new developments.
Mr Barnes said: “I applaud the council’s efforts to review green belt restrictions but it is important that they plan positively for the housing growth that is needed. In cities like Newcastle they need growth and economic stability.
“I would like to see planning that is going to cope with our growing population. There shouldn’t be a free-for-all, Newcastle would look terrible if developments got out of control, but we should be encouraging the city to expand.”