by simongalton on 14 November, 2008
The regional assembly (a unelected body that i am a member off – as it has so much influence over key areas) has been told to conduct a review of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). I am lead to believe that the government wants to increase the housing target number again.
As a group we oppose the idea that the government can simply increase the targets before the ink is even dry on the previously agreed targets. We already have major concerns about the current target of 97,000 homes for Leicester and Leicestershire which will present the districts with huge challenges. Any further increase to these figures seems blind to the realities around us. I will be responding to the Regional Assemblies consultation on this review and as always i am willing to accept comments from readers on the matter.
Housing is a complex business, and targets simply don’t do anything without the means to see it through. The current turmoil in the economy has already caused a decline in land values and construction companies are simply not building. It seems crazy to me to have a target that risks allocating huge tracks of greenfield land for development when the future is so uncertain. What the government should be seeking is local solutions to the housing crisis – trying to find ways we can build more social houses and bring the huge numbers of empty homes in the City back into use. Targets and numbers don’t put roofs over people’s heads – we need action not further reviews.
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