Housing minister Nick Raynsford warned the Planning Officers' Society last week that the government would fight hard to reach its target of building 4.4m new homes.
The paper went on to claim that leaked figures reveal that up to 1,000 square miles of virgin countryside would be bulldozed to is to achieve this target.
In Devon, 20 square miles of countryside will be covered in housing, 57 square miles in East Anglia and 20 square miles in Hereford and Worcester.
Residents' associations have promised 'direct action' in protest at government plans to build over two million homes in rural areas, the Sunday Telegraph reported (p2).
Members of the radical environmental group Earth First are this week going to Peacehaven, East Sussex, to form an alliance with the town council and residents against plans for 113 new executive homes.