Golf courses take up more than twice the amount of space in England than all of the country’s housing combined, it has emerged.
As the number of new homes being built struggles to keep up with a surge in demand caused by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, the news indicates that finding space in the UK on which to build houses may not be a problem.
There are over 2,000 full 18-hole golf courses in Britain, along with hundreds of smaller 9-hole courses and pitch-and-putt courses, which Inside Housing blogger Colin Wiles estimates take up 270,000 hectares, or roughly 2% of England’s 13.4 million hectares of land area.
Domestic buildings take up just 1.1% of the country according to the government.
Pete Jefferys, from homeless charity Shelter, wrote on their blog: “Golf is not the answer to the housing shortage, but it does show that we shouldn’t despair. There is space to house the next generation, let’s get on with it.
“This is not to say we need to build over any golf course in the country, or have anything against golf. Just that we could find the land for homes if we really wanted to.”
Britain is second only after the US in terms of numbers of golf courses.
The news comes as surveyors call for urgent action to be taken to increase the supply of houses as demand has lifted house prices to an 11-year high, stoking fears of a housing bubble in Britain.