More than 30,000 new homes will be built in Ashford by 2031
Access to affordable housing is the key concern of people in Ashford, says the Institute for Public Policy Research.
However, it warned the high quality of life expected by residents would not continue without more policies to cut waste and pollution.
People in the Kent town should be more concerned about the long-term issues of water shortages and flooding, it said.
Individuals and firms should be urged to change behaviour and use resources more efficiently, said the think tank.
The report published on Monday examined public attitudes to problems facing the South East and highlighted some of the tensions between growth and quality of life within the region.
It warned that if the current rate of economic growth continued, the region could see household water consumption rise by as much as 16%, air emissions by 7% and traffic levels by 23%.
Under government house-building plans announced earlier this year, Ashford is set to get 31,000 new homes by 2031.
Julie Foley, from the Institute for Public Policy Research, said those in charge of building regulations should look at improving the resource efficiency of new homes.
She said they should be designed in ways that ensured they were "environmentally sustainable and produced less waste and pollution".