Stories about numbers and plans are never as interesting as stories about tales of human courage or despair. So I apologise for writing yet again about the numbers and plans the thousands of new houses due to be built in South Worcestershire, where we will put them and how we will pay for all the new and bigger things we will then need things like schools, hospitals, emergency services, libraries and playgrounds.

The government is demanding that we build over 24,000 new houses in the south of the county and it is trying to drive the numbers even higher. But a report prepared for the county council shows we just cant afford them.

The report estimates the cost of the infrastructure needed to support the new houses in both north and south Worcestershire at 800 million. It looks at sources of funding to pay for it both public funds and developer contributions - and estimates a total shortfall of over 150 million.

What really frightens me is that this gap is likely to grow. With the pressure on public funds after the recession and bank bailout, whoever wins the next election, there will have to be cuts to future spending on things like this so the gap will get bigger and the things we need just wont happen.

Its causing enough grief in the county now, trying to find places to put so many new houses without destroying the things that make life worth living but if our schools and hospitals, our roads and railways all grind to a halt, there will be real outrage.

Thank heavens the three councils of South Worcestershire are delaying their plans for six months we need to look again this issue if we are to avoid a looming disaster for the county.


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