East assembly spurns extra home plans
The East of England Regional Assembly has suspended its support for the region's planning blueprint after the government demanded a ramping up of its house building targets.
Changes proposed by communities secretary Ruth Kelly suggested removing an overall affordable housing target, which the assembly had wanted to set at 35 per cent .
The government has also proposed increasing house building numbers from 478,000 to 508,000, and said that ‘regional and local targets should be treated as minimums to be exceeded'.
The assembly said it was ‘extremely disappointed' with the government's proposed changes to the draft plan, claiming they were neither ‘workable nor deliverable'.
The government's demand for extra homes had been ‘proposed without adequately robust consideration of the impact such proposals would have on local communities, infrastructure capacity and the environment', the assembly said in a statement.
Assembly members have agreed a motion suspending their support for the plan until more funding for infrastructure is made available. The motion also welcomes the government recognition of the need to minimise the region's contribution to climate change and the need to promote more sustainable modes of transport.
Assembly chair Sue Sida-Lockett said its members had unanimously rejected the government's proposals. ‘The assembly is united in rejecting the need for 30,000 more homes, a second runway at Stansted Airport and more jobs and houses without funding to support infrastructure,' she said.