Monday, 24 February 2014

25th Feb 2014: Draft Local Plan: A slap in the face of people needing homes

Maidstone Greens have welcomed the decision to exclude a number of greenfield sites from the draft Local Plan at yesterday's Cabinet meeting. The sites that are no longer under threat are Fant Farm, Cross Keys, Cripple Street and a site in Ware Street. They have also welcomed the additional use of brownfield sites in the town centre.

However, the Greens have criticised the continued focus on high proportions of homes that do not fall into the 'affordable housing' category and the target housing numbers which while too high, fail to identify the real need for affordable homes. Maidstone has seen a huge rise in homelessness over the past five years.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "While I am pleased that places such as Fant Farm are no longer at risk, the draft Local Plan still fails to meet the needs of the people while building unnecessary mansions across many greenfield sites.

"I am particularly concerned that the plan still allows for low proportions of affordable homes, the type of homes most urgently needed in the Borough. While they are trying to identify space for seventeen of the twenty thousand homes that they think are needed, they are only seeking around 6000 affordable homes.

"To meet the current and future needs, the Council should be aiming for around 8000 affordable homes but only around 2000 unaffordable ones. This decision is a real slap in the face of the hundreds of people and families desperate for somewhere to live in Maidstone.

"We will continue to challenge this plan and we urge others to make sure that they have their say too."

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