31 MAR 2008

Housing in Whitfield

Meeting with the Whitfield Action Group impressed on me how concerned people in Whitfield are about the proposals to build thousands of houses locally. And rightly so. The Whitfield we know and love could be ruined. Sunk into a characterless New Town.

We know that if more than 8,000 new homes are built in our area, it will be Whitfield that bears the brunt. Any plan for over 10,000 houses is likely to seriously impact Whitfield. Of course, we all support regeneration, more jobs and money locally. We know that could mean new homes. Yet new homes should be built only when really needed - according to actual demand rather than a plan. The worst possible result would be for the Whitfield we know and love to be lost, with little gain for our local economy.

I think Whitfield works. It has a sense of community most places can only dream about. People are engaged and involved in what goes on locally. It would be a shame to lose all that in a soulless New Town. We have seen excessive development across the South East in recent years. We are sinking into a sea of concrete and congestion. East Kent is wonderful - yet is threatened with ending up like the rest of the South East. Right now, we have a lot of quantity of life and quality of life. I think that quality of life is worth preserving.


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Charlie Elphicke

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