'Six to Fix' - 5. Overdevelopment
People need housing. Wiltshire face another 62,000 being built across our county.
Too often these houses are going to be built on open countryside around existing market towns where local services and infrastructure is already struggling to cope.
These problems are made worse by the mismanagement by Wiltshire Conservatives of the legally required 5 year land supply. That failure has given speculative developers opportunities to profit by building on sites they should not have had.
House prices are also rising rapidly in Many parts of Wiltshire and so are rents. This is making life difficult for local young people to get a foot on the housing ladder or for others to met the changing needs of their family and their own needs.
Stop destroying affordable homes
Sadly the Conservative government seem more intent on using tax payers money to subsidise purchase schemes for new homes for people earning over £100,000 a year while forcing local Housing Associations to sell off existing affordable homes. This is the wrong approach
Build new, affordable homes in the right places
We need to build affordable homes in our communities and we need to ensure that existing ones remain accessible to future generations. Initiatives like the Wiltshire Community Land Trust form part of the way forward.
Create new, sustainable communities with good infrastructure
We also need to stop adding yet more housing estates to existing communities and start looking at large and suitable sites of public land. Many such sites are owned currently by the Ministry of Defence, that is becoming available for sale.
Wiltshire Council should be buying this land and looking to work with developers to build new, sustainable, "green" communities with affordable homes, good local infrastucture of schools, shops, leisure facilities and places for local jobs to be based.
Plans for these "garden villages and towns" are happening elsewhere in the West Country. Why not in Wiltshire?
The Liberal Democrat housing plan
The Liberal Democrats will press for action to build and protect affordable homes for local people, protect our countryside from speculative development and our market towns from being swapped, and press for new, properly planned "garden towns and villages" to be built in our county.