Shadow minister Caroline Flint calls for Redbridge green spaces to be ‘utilised properly’
- Credit: Archant
A shadow minister has waded into the debate over Redbridge’s housing crisis – calling for compromise following proposals to build homes on the green belt.
Energy and climate change shadow minister Caroline Flint MP stressed the need for affordable housing as she opened Ilford North’s election candidate Cllr Wes Streeting’s new office in Radnor Crescent, Gants Hill.
The comments come after Redbridge Council published potential plans to build on green belt sites in Fairlop, Barkingside and Hainault as part of its local development framework, which is going out for public consultation.
The MP, who said Ilford North was a crucial seat in Labour’s general election campaign, wants spaces to be “utilised” effectively through discussing options with people from Redbridge.
Ms Flint said at the event on Tuesday: “I know how important green spaces are for people in Redbridge. Part of the appeal of living in the Greater London area is because of the green spaces we have here, so it’s really important to get the balance right.
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“It’s important spaces are being utilised properly, so it’s about having that discussion with people.”
The consultation comes in light of a Recorder report highlighting that only 440 affordable homes had been granted planning permission in the past five years – well short of its target of 4,525 homes over 10 years – with the housing waiting list nearing 8,000 applicants.
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Ms Flint said: “There are lots of people who own houses, but are not sure that their children will get to do the same. We have to look at what our housing needs are – it’s not just about building more and more houses in the area.”
A report stated the borough had 2000ha of “potentially developable” green belt.
Cllr Streeting said he wanted to ensure there were enough green open spaces in the borough for families to enjoy.
“However, there’s a danger the debate is becoming a bit hysterical – I think the debate is so much more important than party politics,” he added.
Visit redbridge.gov.uk/ldf to find out more about the consultation.