Council leader supports Science Park housing

08 Feb 2011
Cllr Bowles comments in this week’s East Kent Gazette provide an interesting insight into the substance of both the Councils supporting evidence and arguments for the housing numbers being proposed in the Core Strategy.

In putting a case forward that the additional 5,000 houses directly associated with the Kent Science Park’s expansion plans are necessary to fulfil the Councils duty to provide enough homes and in particular to make housing affordable for young people, he is not only dismissive of much of the Councils own evidence, but breaks all previous assurances given that he and the Council would not support this surplus housing.

FPOG representative Andy Hudson says

“It is the weakest and least credible excuse for the mass house building programme associated with the Kent Science Park that I’ve heard so far.”

“By Cllr Bowles own admission 79% of the rural population of Swale cannot afford the affordable housing and it doesn’t matter whether you build 1,000, 10,000 or 20,000 houses they don’t suddenly become more affordable. In fact to the contrary large scale housing development has a history of forcing prices up.”

“I think that residents of Sittingbourne and Sheppey made be surprised to learn that they have to build not only their share of the proposed housing but nearly all of Faversham’s share as well. In addition the Council has factored in significant additional housing for external migration into the borough and on top of that the 5,000 houses that the Science Park requires.”

“The simple truth is that Sittingbourne and Sheppey will be required to support housing numbers far in excess of our own growth predictions. Even the lower housing growth projection represents something like twice the amount of housing required and triple when you factor in the Kent Science Park. “

“After all the rhetoric from Cllr Bowles over the housing figures imposed by the previous Labour administration it is all the more remarkable that he chooses to support more housing and that there is no option in the Consultation for less housing.”