TCPA: Homes should help 'redistribute' population
England needs a national planning framework to help redistribute housing pressures from London and the south east to other parts of the country, the Town and Country Planning Association has warned.
The TCPA made the call following the publication by the Office of National Statistics of the first data from the 2011 census.
The data showed the population of England and Wales has increased by 7.1 per cent to 56.1 million. The increase was the largest of any 10-year period since the census began in 1801.
The figures show huge disparities in population growth in different parts of the country. London’s population grew by 851,000 from 7.3 million to 8.2 million, while the south east and east regions of England grew by 611,000 and 446,000 respectively. By contrast, the population of the north east grew by just 57,000 to 2.6 million while Wales saw an increase of just 153,000, to 3.1 million.
The average population density is 371 people per square mile, but in London this figure is 5,200.
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the TCPA, said: ‘Meeting housing needs arising from demographic change will require a major expansion in housing provision, but this can be squared with sustainable development only by dealing explicitly with spatial inequalities and economic disparities across England.
‘The continued development of the greater south east will inevitably meet powerful constraints derived from congestion and resource shortages. The redistribution of these pressures can in part be achieved through a national spatial framework, but further detailed work on the future distribution of England’s population is also required.’
The census data also showed one in six people are now aged 65 years or over, the highest ever seen, while there are 430,000 people aged 90 or over, compared to 340,000 in 2001.