Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Chronic lack of housing cannot continue - we must build on greenfield land: Tim Farron

By Paul Francis

Housing development on greenfield land will have to be tolerated if the UK is to solve Britain’s housing crisis, says the leader of the Liberal Democrat party Tim Farron. 

Mr Farron, who visited Maidstone and Canterbury yesterday to meet activists and supporters, said the chronic lack of affordable homes could not be allowed to go on. 

Government figures have revealed that the number of affordable homes built in 2015-16 was the lowest for 24 years. 

Tim Farron said house building was at its lowest level in 24 years. Stock image.

Tim Farron said house building was at its lowest level in 24 years. Stock image.

Mr Farron said the party was committed to building ten garden cities to ease the pressure and rejected the idea that its policy would amount to concreting over the Garden of England. 

“We are a country with space to develop and the answer is to build new places like garden cities.

"In some senses you have the ability to develop and protect the environment and provide new homes.

"That means building on brownfield sites and changing the law so you are not allowed as a developer to sit on useable space that would be great for affordable housing.” 

Fields surrounding Court Lodge Farm to the south of Pound Lane have been earmarked for housing

Fields surrounding Court Lodge Farm to the south of Pound Lane have been earmarked for housing

“There will have to be some development on land that currently has grass on it. And I think we just have to accept that.

"And we need to get alongside communities to allow them to do just that.

"The problem is that you hear politicians of all different colours getting very upset about our terrible housing crisis`but then doing nothing about it.” 

He argued that housing associations needed to be allowed to borrow against the value of their stock to build cheaper homes and the government should halt the sell-off of affordable homes. 

Tim Farron visited Maidstone and Canterbury

Tim Farron visited Maidstone and Canterbury

On the party’s political fortunes in Kent, he denied that people saw it as a wasted vote. 

“In places like Maidstone, our support is strong and has been going up and we came a very strong second at the general election and if there is a snap election, which we are prepared for, Maidstone will be one of those places which we would hope to gain from the Conservatives.” 

“I think British politics has been turned on its head and what is clear to me is that we have a very extreme government following an agenda and a Labour party with an extremist hard left position and is not seen as a credible alternative government.

"If we don’t step up to the plate there will be no serious alternative at all.”

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More