Kent Green Party is opposed to the use of greenfield sites for housing. Such sites are essential for agriculture, allotments, amenity and biodiversity. Over-ambitious housing plans in the Dover area threaten the countryside. Steve Dawe explains how Kent Green Party is challenging this problem:
“Kent Green Party believes greenfield sites are essential for agriculture, allotments, amenity and biodiversity. Housing needs to be in urban centres and in already built-up areas to ensure minimum costs in terms of new infrastructure. The number of empty homes in the Dover district stands at about 872 (1). Despite the Dover District Council’s Empty Homes Strategy(2), empty homes and social housing needs are both increasing in Dover. But at the same time, Dover District Council has high targets for new homes, ignoring the massive potential of empty homes, derelict sites in industrial estates and long-term empty shops. There is a contradiction between Dover District Council supporting the No Use Empty initiative to get empty properties into use, and still favouring the expensive and environmentally damaging development of new homes on greenfield sites, as recently agreed for Whitfield.
If the Council has its way, and obtains 14,000 new homes by 2026(3), then its current policies would mean urbanizing Dover’s countryside. Kent Green Party believes it is essential that refurbishment of existing buildings be the main route to new homes in the Dover district. It is also essential, given declining household incomes and costly mortgages, that half of all additional homes be social housing – not the 30% ‘affordable’ the Council proposes. In consequence, Kent Greens will be petitioning against building on greenfield sites in Dover town centre on Saturday 2nd June from 12.15.”
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
1. 1. http://www.elphicke.com/serving-dover/empty-properties-in-dover/343
2. 2. http://www.dover.gov.uk/housing/private_sector_housing-1/empty_homes/empty_homes_strategy.aspx
3. 3. http://www.dover.gov.uk/pdf/Affordable%20Housing%20DeliveryPlan.pdf