Fringe Box



Letter: How Can More Affordable Homes Be Built While Legal Loopholes Remain?

Bernard Parke

hon alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

Guildford Dragon readers may be aware of a recent report commissioned by the charity Shelter and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) on a legal loophole that lets developers halve the number of affordable homes that they are building in the countryside.

We now learn that Sajid Javid, the housing minister, is to put pressure on councils to build more affordable homes. How will this be possible if this legal loophole can be invoked?

The housing minister went on to say that councils would be given higher targets for homes to be built and failure to comply with this councils would have their planning powers removed and handed to an independent inspector.

This does not seem to be in accordance with our constitution and it is certainly not what our electorate voted for.

No mention is made on the provision of more schools, hospitals and other issuers needed to serve these localities as we living here in Guildford are only too aware.

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2 Responses to Letter: How Can More Affordable Homes Be Built While Legal Loopholes Remain?

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    March 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    In The Daily Telegraph today, Theresa May still claims that her government are protecting the green belt. I wonder if she condones the behaviour of councils such as GBC?

    It will not be possible to protect the green belt if GBC manages to get the Local Plan approved. There are often claims that it is greedy developers who want to cover the rural landscape with houses, but they are given an easy ride when the borough council, who should be working for the good of all residents, are intent on ruining their own environment. GBC are determined to “inset” the rural villages and swamp them with houses. GBC is working hand in hand with these greedy developers.

    In West Horsley, two new five-bedroom houses, built in the garden of an old timber-framed house, are nearing completion. Four smaller, and much-needed homes, or one large and two small houses could have been built on this plot. Why weren’t they? Because there wouldn’t have been so much profit.

    The permission for these houses was given by GBC. Even when there are “windfall” sites such as these, GBC does not use its powers to encourage rational use of the land.

    When the Local Plan comes up for examination in June this year, as many people as possible should ask for a slot to speak out against GBC’s utter disregard for public opinion, lack of common sense regarding infrastructure and protest against the willful desecration of our borough.

  2. Lisa Wright Reply

    March 5, 2018 at 9:45 am

    In short, while legal loopholes remain, affordable housing will not be built. Our council can’t do a damn thing about it. Developers will be building high end, very profitable housing across our green belt instead.

    Our councils have no money for any sort of infrastructure and are hoping that developers will be paying for new roads, schools and utilities. This all adds to the cost of building homes and makes the chances of building anything remotely affordable close to zero.

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