New homes target reduced in Kent and Sussex

Date:

Monday 26th March 2012

Housebuilders are not developing enough new homes to meet demand

Housebuilders have been set a significantly reduced target as far as the delivery of new homes in Kent and Sussex are concerned, despite the mounting housing shortage.

Mid-Sussex Council is reducing its new homes target as a direct consequence of central Government's controversial decision to scrap new homes targets, set by the previous Labour administration.

Councils in Kent and Sussex have confirmed that there has been a reduction of 13,520 new homes from the target of 645,000 in the South East Plan (SEP), which was scrapped in 2010 after the coalition party came to power.

According to BBC Sunday Politics, six councils have already said they are now considering lower new homes targets than those in the SEP, which pledged to hit building targets by 2026, despite the existing shortage of flats and houses for sale.

Local councils have been given the freedom to make their own decisions as far as new homes building levels are concerned. As a result, Mid-Sussex Council is reducing its new homes target by more than a third, which will inevitable add to the lack of new homes, including affordable homes.

Garry Wall, leader of Mid-Sussex Council, told the BBBC: "It's not actually for us to question whether the South East Plan numbers were right or wrong but for Mid Sussex 17,000 was too high.

"We now have a robust needs assessment that we've worked on ourselves which comes to 10,600 and 10,600 is still a high level of housing."

However, Hastings Borough Council leader, Jeremy Birch, said councils should stick to the targets set by the SEP unless there is strong evidence that housing is not needed.

"You've got to think what is your economy need, not in 2012 but in 20 years' time," he said. "How many people do you need living in your area to provide the fodder for the economy?"

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