Gravesham house shortage due to interantional migration

PUBLISHED: 15:58 11 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:56 14 October 2013

Gravesham is short of houses due to international migration. Pic by Rui Vieira/PA

Gravesham is short of houses due to international migration. Pic by Rui Vieira/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Gravesham Council has been told it must build at least an extra 1,000 homes to cope with international migration.

Gravesham Council leader Cllr John BurdenGravesham Council leader Cllr John Burden

Initial plans submitted in May this year included plans for 4,600 new homes - which is at least 1,000 short of what they need according to the planning inspectorate.

Gravesham says the original plans were forecast before information from the 2011 census was available.

The council is considering building on greenfield sites, something which has been criticised by rural charity CPRE Project Kent.

Spokesman Jamie Weir thinks it should look at filling empty houses before building new ones.

He said: “We are extremely concerned by the possibility that the greenbelt boundaries may end up being redrawn in Gravesham in order to facilitate development.

“The greenbelt is extraordinarily important to local people who want to ensure that their area retains its own identity and open, natural spaces.

“We will join with local people in campaigning against any redefinition of the greenbelt as a result of the planning inspectors comments to Gravesham Borough Council.”

Cllr John Burden, leader of Gravesham Council, said they are exploring all their options.

“The information we are now getting is from the latest census. We based the plan on the previous census numbers.”

“The inspectorate is reflecting government policy to build more and to build on greenbelt land.

“We’ve looked at all the brownfield sites, the easy and cheap greenfield sites and releasing greenbelt. That’s the problem we’ve got.”

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