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Cllr Eden-Green; Local plan and transport shows no sign of progress

June 30, 2016 5:00 PM

Nick Eden Green profileletter to the press w/c 13/06/16

Dear Sir

As someone who has consistently voted against certain more extreme aspects of the local plan can I please put things into context?

The Lib Dems are in favour of most of the sites in the local plan and as a member of the planning committee I have already voted in favour of some of them. So I'm not against all house building.

However, we do want proper transport links. That's why we are in favour of a major new garden city at Ebbsfleet to relieve the pressure on towns in Kent. Ebbsfleet is close to London and has a high-speed rail station, the M2, M25, even the Thames. The government has given £510m for infrastructure improvements to Ebbsfleet who propose 15000 houses. Canterbury proposes 16000 houses and has negotiated not one penny. With £510m we could build an eastern bypass and repair every pothole in the district!

Please don't mix up the EU migrant debate with our housing problem. The majority of immigrants come from outside the EU so the government could have fixed that issue at any time had they so chosen. The majority of EU immigrants are graduates and do jobs British people are unprepared or unqualified to do - fruit pickers, care workers, nurses, plumbers, doctors, builders. They pay their taxes and are less of a burden on our public services than our ageing population. We need their skills and our universities need the fees their students pay.

Finally, do we build 000s of new houses in our district to have them bought up wholesale by London boroughs to rehouse their homeless? Do we build 000s of new houses with 30% affordable when 'affordable' means 80% of market price? How many of our homeless can afford a £200,000 'affordable' home? Developers won't build genuinely affordable homes. Their job is to maximise profits. Since when was a new house a cheap house?

We need a total rethink of town planning. Building communities with joined up infrastructure, integrated transport systems, factory built homes, Eco homes, and council homes. A revolution? No, just something we could learn from our continental neighbours!

Yours sincerely

Nick Eden-Green

Lib Dem. Wincheap Ward