Is Miliband delivering the Green New Deal? It’s not clear as yet

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According to the Guardian - and I am sure the sources are impeccable - Ed Miliband will suggest Labour will build 200,000 houses a year from 2015 onwards.

This is an ambitious plan. If true, I welcome it.

If it's linked to decent standards (with minimum space requirements and strong renewable components as a matter of policy from the outset) I will welcome it even more.

If the price is kept sustainable by ensuring land prices do not surge to match the demand for housing - which can of course be fixed by planning legislation - then I will welcome it even more.

And I'd like a fair proportion to be brown field sites.

But good though 200,000 houses a year is I want to hear more.

I want to hear that the infrastructure - not just service roads are being built. And that public transport is planned. And schools will be built. And health care and day care services. And the hospitals needed to service new towns. With combined heat and power supplies - which are highly energy efficient. Plus all the other infrastructure these houses will require.

And of course I want to know how the social element of all this will be funded. Is green quantitative easing on the cards?

Housing is good: it's the catalyst for a great deal of change. But let's be clear: boxes in the middle of nowhere drove the Irish economy to the wall. Integrated thinking is required on this issue: the sort of thinking only the state can deliver to ensure everyone benefits from policies for reform.

I hope Ed Miliband makes this promise. But I'll be more impressed if it's part of a package that works as a whole. The devil is always in the detail.