Housing and Development
Too much development in Folkestone and Hythe has been driven more by the vision of individual entrepreneurs and the opportunities for capital gain than by the need to invest in social capital and community development. The planning process has been less than transparent and has failed to address the key issues of community benefit, with a woeful disregard for the environmental impact and the effect on residents.
The lack of affordable housing is already approaching crisis point, placing intolerable strain on individuals and families just trying to keep a roof over their heads. It is time we made a clear commitment to new provision.
We want to develop a diverse and more coherent approach to development and to housing provision, so that everyone has the right to a roof over their head at an affordable cost. This means a fresh approach to ensure better integration of housing investment to reflect the needs of the community. It also means that it is time for a crack down on unscrupulous landlords in order to improve private tenants’ living conditions and a challenge to land banking by developers with no interest in community development.
- Make planning decisions differently, listening to the community and expect all development to offer real community benefit.
- We will be tougher on developers, expecting to see all major developments meet the benchmark of at least 30% affordable housing and ensure the developer contribution is spent on much needed local infrastructure.
- Build new, good quality council houses to end our housing crisis and give local people a secure home. We will provide renewable energy for council homes by increasing the use of solar panels, reducing bills and feeding into the National Grid.
- Stand up for renters’ rights campaigning to abolish no fault evictions, introduce indefinite tenancies and cap rents. We will take steps to crack down on rogue landlords who do not provide an adequate standard for tenants.
- Address the growing challenge of homelessness by working in partnership with and supporting the voluntary sector. We will support the winter shelter.