Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill has slammed government proposals announced yesterday on housing, saying they will lead to ‘town cramming’ in Watford.
The government announcement called on urban councils to increase their housing numbers and approve more development but not to ‘tear up the green belt’ in the process.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid said that he would be ‘breathing down [councils] neck day and night to make sure [they] are actually delivering on those numbers’ and that the changes would bring about a ‘revolution’ in how councils approached housing building.
Recent studies suggested that a release of just 1% of all green belt land in the UK would help meet housing needs for the next 20 years.
Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said, ‘Everyone understands how serious the housing crisis is across the country, in particularly in Watford. It’s too difficult for young people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
‘However, it’s outrageous for this Conservative government to suggest that only urban councils should take all the burden for the huge number of new homes proposed. They’re letting Conservative run councils with huge amount of green belt land off the hook.
‘All these proposals amount to is town cramming. A doubling in housing numbers in Watford will lead to a big strain on our roads, our public transport systems, our doctors surgeries and our schools.
‘It’s simply not fair for councils like Watford to be taking all the burden of extra homes particularly when we have always met our housing targets.
‘We can’t over crowd towns like Watford just to protect someone’s view in Maidenhead.’