Green Metro Mayoral candidate, Darren Hall, has spoken out against a Centre for Cities proposal that promotes building on the green belt. Darren said,
“Tackling our housing crisis is one of my top priorities. The Centre for Cities suggestion that building on our greenbelt is the only solution is just plain wrong. First and foremost we have to focus on affordability, and it is a fallacy that building more ‘des res’ on the outskirts of Bristol & Bath will fix that.
By concentrating on high-quality social housing provided through community development initiatives backed by the best in the building industry, we can act quickly to provide homes that those most in need can afford, rather than relying on the same system that created the housing crisis to fix it. Volume housebuilders like green field sites because they can make more profit, but even the relatively well paid can no longer afford to get on the housing ladder without an eye-watering mortgage and government help for the deposit. This just continues to fuel the problem, not solve it.
At the same time we can also lift thousands of families out of fuel poverty, using cost-effective techniques to reduce energy bills to near zero, and even generating and storing renewable energy on site. Centre for Cities rightly say we need to raise the profile of Bristol & Bath, but I want the West of England to become a world leader in new build and retrofit homes fit for the future, not be the city that people cite as the least affordable in the UK outside of London
“Of course, most of our houses are already built, so we must also end exploitive letting fees and introduce a ‘Living Rent’ that is no more than a third of someone’s income. We need a region wide Renter’s Charter like Acorn’s in Bristol, that sets out strong guideline for homes across the West of England that will protect tenants from some landlords who are out to exploit them.”
I really don’t believe that the Conservatives have any intention of helping those most in need and are only worried now because the so-called JAMs are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Successive government’s have all ducked the real issue of providing public sector land for social housing that can benefit people in the longer term, rather than just being sold off to the highest bidder who has no intention of providing affordable housing.”
The South West’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato said,
“The last thing we need is a free-for-all development on our precious Green spaces. The prospect offered by European law represents a significant threat to our environment which is why the Green Party is proposing an Environmental Protection act with a court to ensure the government can be held accountable after Brexit.”
The Centre for Cities proposal to allow developer-led housing on the greenbelt would just add to those risks and would lead to developments dominated by excessive profits rather than those who need homes.”