Seventy years ago, immediately after winning the General Election of that autumn, Winston Churchill summoned Harold Macmillan to Chartwell. He tasked him to “build the houses for the people” — the daunting total of 300,000 a year — as a centrepiece of post-war recovery.
Macmillan succeeded spectacularly, and his annual target was met within two years. This success underpinned Conservative victories in 1955 and 1959 – the second of those with Macmillan as prime minister.
What Churchill and Macmillan realised was that support for popular capitalism could not survive in communities where too many people could not accumulate capital in their own lives. For most people, by far the most important stake they can build in society is a home of their own.
(Simon Clarke MP, start of an article in the Times on why MPs should back Boris Johnson's housing reforms)
There are some massive issue here. I agree with Simon that we need to build enough houses to meet the needs of our young people. But we also need to ensure that this is done in way which protects the environment and that there is enough physical and social infrastructure in place - roads, railways, water supply, drains, schools - to make those housing developments sustainable.