Where will the workers live?

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Thousands more houses will be needed in Sheffield City Region if plans to create 70,000 new jobs are met - placing even more pressure on the green belt.

Sheffield City Council is recalculating its projections after the Local Enterprise Partnership published ambitious plans to create 70,000 new jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next 10 years.

It comes on top of the authority being asked to identify land for new homes under a local plan for the next five years to solve a national housing shortage.

Maria Duffy, the council’s interim head of planning, said one projection for housing in Rotherham and Sheffield showed a 20,000 shortfall over the next 20 years.

And there might have to be “selective, sustainable incursions” into green belt.

She spoke yesterday at a meeting of the Property and Construction Sector Group of the Local Enterprise Partnership at law firm Nabarro’s office in Sheffield.

She added: “The green belt has been almost untouched for 30 years. We have made a call for sites to make sure every possible piece of land is considered.

“We need to be sure before we make selective, sustainable incursions into the green belt so we don’t destroy Sheffield’s ‘Golden Frame’.”

Growth zones include Sheffield’s east end near the M1 which is close to key industries. Other priority areas were in Barnsley and North Derbyshire.

Housing plans had to consider transport and ease of commuting, she added.

The authority has a target of using 88 per cent brownfield land for housing and for some of Sheffield’s needs to be met in Rotherham.

Martin McKervey, chair of the sector group, said: “There’s a huge appetite in the private sector to work with the council on this.”

In June, the bosses of housebuilding firms across the country say that Government targets to build 240,000 new homes a year by 2016 are unrealistic and won’t be met.

The research, by accountants BDO, revealed that 95 per cent of board level executives at housebuilders think Government targets are unachievable.

Some 26 per cent doubting that they will ever be reached.

Bosses also said that planning red tape, constrained funding options and limited land availability were the biggest barriers to building across the country.