09 NOV 2017

MPs' plea to halt further homes from the South East

Local MPs Helen Grant and Tracey Crouch have joined forces to write to the Prime Minister to ask her to look again at the proposal to build more homes in the South East of England.

The Government's proposals will mean that Maidstone will have to find space for 1236 more dwellings per year, an increase of 40% on the current formula. In Tonbridge and Malling it is a similar story, with the plans meaning the local authority must earmark space for an additional 3260 homes by 2031. It is claimed that this is highly likely to be undeliverable in a local authority area where 77% of the land is classed as either Green Belt, an Area of Outstanding National Beauty or a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The letter makes plain to the Prime Minster, the consternation house-building has already created amongst local people, with the MPs explaining that it is the foremost topic of concern and complaint in their postbags. It suggests that rather than focussing additional building in the already over-crowded South East, the Government should concentrate buildings efforts in more suitable locations such as the Midlands and the North, where well-founded aspirations to create a Northern Powerhouse are based.

Helen said: 'I am sympathetic to the Government's desire to fix the broken housing market and provide more affordable homes, particularly for young people. I am extremely concerned however about the impact these plans will have upon our existing communities and in particular local infrastructure. The road network in Maidstone is already bursting at the seams. The impact of such a drastic rise in housing numbers, without the required infrastructure provision to go with it, is unthinkable for those who use our roads every day.

This is why Tracey and I are urging the Prime Minister to re-consider a blanket allocation of numbers and take another look at the Government's proposal.'

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