Friday, 7 June 2013

Lib Dems scaremongering over housing targets

You would think from reading this press release from the Fib Dems that the housing target in Maidstone has just leapt by a further 4000 to 19,000. They don't say how they have calculated this figure but claim that the Tory policies will lead the council to the figure.

Without their calculations, this figure must be assumed to be made up and therefore simply a scaremongering swipe to win votes.

Their press release suggests that they want less housing built in Maidstone - a position that is contrary to their vote a few years ago to increase the housing target.

Lies and half truths do not serve public debate and once again their parliamentary candidate needs to reflect carefully on the statements that he is making.


Stephen Paine said...

Hi Stuart,

The Lib Dems have really stooped to a new low with this one. I gave Fran Wilson (Lib Dem leader) a hard time about this last night, but she just shrugged it off. I think it is important because people are terrified by the prospect of concrete as far as they eye can see - and the Lib Dems have resorted to, frankly, making things up to increase their electoral chances. Do you remember when they said there was a secret plot to sell off Mote Park?? These campaigns are effective because residents would rather not take the risk.

Just to clarify - there is NO target of 19,000 houses. I haven't seen any reports or information suggesting that 19,000 houses are required - nor have any council officers for that matter! The *maximum* number of houses that Maidstone will take, over 20 years, is 14,800, which is based on population trends.

Of that 14,800, over 10,080 have already been found, allocated, or built. This leaves an addition 3720 to find - if suitable sites are even available.

Landowners (not Conservatives, as they assert!) have put forward almost 200 sites for consideration. The council are evaluating each site in turn, to see whether they are suitable. Many are not, and this is already apparent, so the final housing figure is likely to be revised downwards.

The final recommendation from officers to councillors should be made in September. From there, the public will get their say.

It doesn't seem ideal, but unfortunately this is the only way we can robustly defend the Local Plan at examination. We'll be challenged by barristers from house building companies and we'll need to demonstrate that we have examined every option.


Cllr Steve Paine
Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Development at Maidstone Borough Council

Stuart Jeffery said...

Hi Steve, you claim that "over 10,080 have already been found, allocated or build" yet the 14,800 target is from 2011 to 2031.

Have you got the 10,080 in the bag over the past 18 months?