30th October 2010
Keith Tayor Green Party MEP for Maidstone and the South East has joined with Maidstone Greens in calling for a rethink about where housing should be built in Maidstone. In a letter to the Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, Keith called for a revision to the 'Strategic Housing Land Area Assessment' which identifies where houses can be built. The letter was accompanied by a 400 signature petition.
Local Greens are concerned that not enough consideration had been given to protecting green spaces and that some areas identified for housing do not have the infrastructure to support the expanded population. With the demise of the South East Plan and the soaring social housing waiting list, local Greens feel that there is good reason to rethink local plans.
Keith Taylor the Green Party's spokesman on Planning and Regeneration said: "I share the concerns of many locals who are rightly concerned about some of the areas that had been identified for large development such as Fant Farm. Before greenfield areas such as this are developed the council should look to brownfield sites first. Virgin sites like Fant Farm would need major investment to provide the infrastructure a new housing estate would need.
"People in Maidstone understand the need for sensible housing and that more housing is needed. With social housing waiting lists at an all time high in Maidstone, with four times more people on the list than 13 years ago, housing plans across Maidstone needs to be very carefully thought through."
Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "Local people have voiced real concerns about the long term housing plan produced by the council. We have collected over 400 signatures on a petition asking the council to rethink its plans and now with the demise of the South East Plan, there is no better time for them to do this."
For further statements please contact Keith's interim press office for Kent, Alex Phillips: 07908 260 528 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The 405 signature petition states: "We, the undersigned, call on Maidstone Borough Council to commission a new Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment that protects green spaces and ensures that any new areas identified for housing are served properly by existing schools, roads and other infrastructure."
2. Social housing waiting list in Maidstone in 1997 was 769 and in 2009 was 2863 (http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/table600.xls)