Monday, August 16, 2010

Protect Kent concern over 'New Homes Bonus'

Protect Kent - the county branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England - Has expressed concerns over impact on local communities of the Coalition Government's 'New Homes Bonus'

(From Kent News:) The fears have been voiced by Protect Kent following the announcement of the proposed New Homes Bonus, which could see local authorities and communities that build new houses receiving substantial extra funding to spend how they wish.

The scheme looks to ease the house building decline, which is at its lowest level since 1924 with 4.5 million people across the country on council house waiting lists.

But while the New Homes Bonus is being greeted with delight by town hall chiefs, Protect Kent – the county branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England – is remaining wary.

Chairman Richard Knox-Johnston said although he welcomes the move to give local people more power, cash incentives to councils could cause problems.

"Firstly, we’re pleased with the decision to discard the centrally imposed housing figures for the area," he said.

"We also welcome the decision to give local councils and local people the control to make decisions about how many houses are built instead of using these centrally-imposed figures.

"The concern, however, is that cash-strapped councils needing money may be encouraged to promote housing schemes that will damage the environment.

"Even if there is opposition from local people, a council will be the one to make the final decision. If it decides the opposition is not strong enough, the development could still go ahead." read more at Kent News

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