One of the main reasons people to choose to live in suburban areas like ours is the quality of life. Residents are able to balance longer journeys to work with access to green spaces, traditional high streets, good schools and larger homes.
With this in mind, it is vital to establish a solid plan for the future to both increase the number of homes being built, as well as the type of homes. New houses must be built with the appropriate space standards so that every household has the room it needs to thrive. Completing this work now is crucial so that future generations can have access to the same benefits we have had when they come to choose their ‘forever home.’
However, it is equally as important that people can get onto the housing ladder. Whilst it is accepted that everyone needs to start from somewhere, we need to ensure that the ladder of opportunity is open, so that people can take advantage of these new homes being built.
I welcome the Government’s ambition to build new homes and progress is being made towards their target of 30,000 homes built a year by the mid-2020s. However, there must be a focus on building homes in areas where they can be delivered with the support of the community. Councils have been doing an amazing job of supporting housing developers, but the industry is not up to the mark. There are nearly a million homes which have consent to be built but have not yet been started by developers.
I am also wholly opposed to uncontrolled development and applaud the efforts of our local councils to ensure that new development is within the law and sympathetic to the neighbourhood. I believe that this means protecting green spaces, respecting the character of villages and towns and responding proportionately to local housing need. I am personally lobbying ministers to ensure that any changes to planning rules, and housing numbers, protect the rights of neighbours and do not allow unsightly and inappropriate development of any kind.
First published: My Local News, October 2020