Liam Fox will use a village in his constituency as an example of a community facing pressures on housing:
‘Despite having no surplus school places, fully saturated GP surgeries and an already overstretched road…[it is] being asked to absorb large numbers of extra houses without any realistic possibility that the money will be found to provide the extra infrastructure required.’
The former Defence Secretary will note that this pressure is compounded by uncontrolled migration from the EU:
‘As the Government fails to control the increase in the population due to migration, it forces local authorities to build more and more houses to deal with the ripple effect. If we remain in the European Union we will be forced to accept unlimited free movement of people – but there will be no free movement of space coming with them. The inevitable result will be worsening overcrowding in our land limited country.’
Turning to the Prime Minister’s reforms, he will state that it will do nothing to reduce the number of people coming to the UK, and that the continuing eurozone crisis will see the number of EU migrants rise:
‘The outcome of the recent renegotiation of benefits will make no significant difference to these numbers, as the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s advisory body has confirmed…
…The continuing failure of the Eurozone and the tragically high levels of unemployment in Southern Europe is likely to mean that more and more young people will head to the North of Europe, including the UK, in search of work.’
Dr Fox will outline the impact the rise in migration will have on UK housing:
‘Yet population growth on the present scale means making our urban areas still more overcrowded or building over valuable green belt or farmland with all the loss of amenity involved.
‘At current levels of immigration, the Office for National Statistics project that our population will continue to grow by around half a million a year – a city the size of Liverpool every year.
‘This will mean that, in England, we will have to build a new home every six minutes, or 240 a day, for the next 20 years to accommodate just the additional demand for housing from new migrants. That is before we take into account the needs of those who were born here.’
He will also point to the effect it will have on rents and the ability of young people to get on the housing ladder:
‘Most new immigrants move into the private rented sector which has grown as the immigrant population has grown. Competition for rented accommodation obliges all those in the private rented sector to pay high rents which take a large share of income and makes saving to buy a home even harder.
‘These resulting high rents and a shortage of housing make it much more difficult for young people to set up home on their own so they have to spend more time in house shares or with their parents.’
Addressing the impact the increase in migration will have on the green belt, he will say:
‘A constant unchecked flow of migration will inevitably result in more of our open spaces and natural greenery being turned over to housing.’
Concluding, he will appeal to younger voters, saying:
‘If we remain in the EU, if we have uncontrolled migration year after year after year after year, you will find it harder to get a home of your own.
‘You will find it harder to see a GP or you will find it harder to get a school place and you will see our green spaces disappear at an even greater rate.’