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The need for more affordable homes to be built in the county has been highlighted by Peter Luff, the Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire. But he has also expressed real concern about the services needed to support these new homes.

The West Midland Regional Assembly's consultation on the Regional Spatial Strategy has just closed. In two submissions to the Assembly, Peter has welcomed plans for more affordable housing in the area, and praised the Assembly for resisting pressure to impose even higher target figures for the region. He warned that the Assembly should continue to resist pressure from the Government to increase the number of new homes, and that concerns about infrastructure must be addressed before any new house building can go ahead.

Peter commented,

"In my view the Assembly has done a good job of accurately assessing the housing need of the area and any attempts by Government to impose higher numbers are undemocratic and wrong.

"The level of housing the Assembly is proposing for south Worcestershire is probably necessary to cope with an ageing population, living in smaller households. But we must be clear that communities around Droitwich, Worcester and Evesham are already appalled at the numbers of new houses that will be built near them. We simply can't go any higher.

"I also stressed the importance of ensuring adequate infrastructure is in place before any significant house building programme gets underway."

In his letters, Peter writes,

"Infrastructure plans need to be drawn up and costed to support the proposed number of new homes before they are approved. I am not only referring to road and rail networks (although these will be expensive, complex and often controversial) but also to hospitals, schools, energy sources, water supplies, refuse sites, GP surgeries, emergency services, public transport provision, leisure facilities, open spaces, drains, sewers and flood defences.

"I accept the need for significant quantities of housing including, in particular affordable housing, to be constructed throughout the West Midlands and in South Worcestershire, in particular. However, the numbers suggested by the Assembly should not be increased, and prior funding and planning of infrastructure needs to be in place before significant house building can go ahead."


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