Thursday, 13 February 2014

New housing on Yalding's flood plain

The draft housing allocations for Maidstone Borough are out and causing huge controversy. I was on on Radio Kent just now debating the wisdom of allocating space in Yalding for 200 new homes, brownfield site that is part of the flood plain. I was put up against Cllr Garland, Tory leader of the Council.

The debate started bizarrely with a discussion about how the new houses could be built on stilts or be floating. Apparently they do this in the Netherlands. What they don't have is a car dependent society in the Netherlands, one that will have people complaining that their car has disappeared under 6ft of water. Perhaps floating roads need to be built too?

Alternatively the home could be built elsewhere. A little radical perhaps, but then the executive mansions are not needed, local people need small affordable homes for young families and single people close to jobs and public transport (I know we have a river bus in Maidstone but...).

Let's build the right homes in the right place, not store up misery for the future.

One thing Cllr Garland did remind people this morning was that the Labour and Lib Dem Councillors had backed Conservative plans to build on greenfield sites around the Borough. It is clear then that the Greens are the only opposition in Maidstone to this unnecessary and destructive policy.

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