By David Parker
Government pressure on local authorities to build more houses seems to be imposing planning regulations and over-riding planning law.
Housing estates are being imposed on areas but the numbers of houses to be built cannot match local facilities and services. Perhaps our local MPs could take up the challenge to government and ask where the jobs, hospital beds, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, schools, road and other infrastructure requirements will come from.
The mandatory low-cost housing percentage is being bought off the developers.
“Dear Mrs May: You can’t build 1,000 houses in an area with low unemployment, long waiting times for health procedures, not enough school places, and roads which can’t cope with traffic as they are. (Salisbury, Shaftesbury and Gillingham areas).”
EXAMPLE: Is the draft plan for Wiltshire sound? Graham Wright, Wiltshire councillor for Durrington and Larkhill, says it’s not.
“More preparation is required – huge gaps in the present infrastructure and this plan is led by the Government ‘s wish to drive Wiltshire (and North Dorset) into building more houses at any cost to local communities and the environment. While all the boxes are ticked by WC, more understanding is needed of local communities and aspirational needs. If all these houses were for local people, it would be more positive but, as it is, most people who already live in my area and hoping to buy a first house, or rent, have family incomes that do not allow them to afford the so-called low-cost housing, or the rental market.
“If we need new low-cost houses, let WC build them; encouraging large contractors, who are only after a profit, is not the way to solve any local shortfall.
“Durrington was always assured by Wiltshire and Salisbury District Councils that the tight geographic planning boundary allowed for no more than infill within Durrington. Our community welcomed 180 new homes inside the settlement boundary within the past few years; with the increase of 440 homes in Larkhill due to Army Re-basing, we have an increase of over 34% on overall housing capacity; adding another 60 homes without properly understanding the impact of the planned 440 new builds at Larkhill shows a lack of common sense.
“Settlement Boundaries are meaningless because plots of land have been selected outside agreed settlement boundaries, now redrawn to include them.”