Residents reject high housing growth

RESIDENTS do not want high housing growth, a region-wide consultation has revealed. Over 16,000 individuals, businesses and councils have responded to a public consultation by the East of England Regional Assembly on the future of house building in the r

RESIDENTS do not want high housing growth, a region-wide consultation has revealed.

Over 16,000 individuals, businesses and councils have responded to a public consultation by the East of England Regional Assembly on the future of house building in the region up to 2031, and the majority of the public have opted for the lowest growth scenario.

In the report, published last week, two thirds of residents opted for a growth rate similar to or lower than 26,000 homes per year - the lowest of the four government scenarios after EERA rejected the top increase of 39,000 homes a year. Higher growth was favoured by developers.

Responses included a 5,000 strong petition by West Hitchin Action Group against building more homes around the town.


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Chairman of the EERA planning panel, Herts county councillor Derrick Ashley, said: "The consultation was a really valuable exercise. We are looking closely at all the responses before publishing, in March, a detailed plan for how many new homes are needed up to 2031.

"We reject just aiming for higher and higher numbers of houses in the region. Although we need to plan for new homes so that first-time buyers, young families and others in housing need can buy or rent a home at a price they can afford, we also want to protect the environment and the quality of life for existing and future residents of the east of England."

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The 12-week consultation was part of a wider review of the East of England Plan, due to be completed next year, which covers housing, transport, environment and energy and waste in the region. It will be up to local councils to determine where new homes are built.

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