Ifield Society demands Independent Inquiry into Homes England and Sir Edward Lister
From Richard W. Symonds – Ifield Society Co-founder: “There are moral issues to be addressed here”
From Peter Lamb – Prospective Parliament Candidate for Crawley – 2019 General Election:
I’ve never been one to follow a party line on things, so if I give a
position on something that tends to be my view regardless of what hat
Perhaps such is the same with Henry Smith on this, as the scheme
proposed for West of Ifield were drawn up by Homes England under the
chairmanship of Sir Edward Lister, who is now Boris Johnson’s Chief
Adviser. The current Government’s position seems rather clear.
Crawley needs more affordable housing, but the total requirement for the
town is less than a third of what is proposed for West of Ifield. Homes
England’s proposals are currently almost entirely for unaffordable
housing and, as things stand, no Crawley resident would be eligible for
any of the affordable homes due to the site falling within the
boundaries of Horsham District Council. So, the proposed development
would both fail to meet Labour’s commitment to affordable housing and
would go well beyond the housing numbers the manifesto is suggesting.
FOSSETTS FARM AND HOMES ENGLAND
AT a public meeting the Fossetts For The People group (FFTP) made an appeal for a wave of objections to be sent in against the expected planning application of Homes England to build luxury homes on the ex NHS public land at Fossetts Farm.
John Barber chair of Southend Homeless Action Network (SHAN) said: “There are quite a lot of people who are homeless in Southend.
“I think we should do everything we can as a community to try to get towards building houses that people can afford, where the real need is. But I think the big challenge for all of us is how do we get there.”
Coun Martin Terry said: “I’m here on behalf of the leader of the Council … the Council position is that we support this campaign, we are talking to Homes England because the land is still owned by the taxpayers’ purse. We want to get social housing on there.”
Ashley Dalton, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Rochford and Southend East, said: “Housing impacts on absolutely every single part of a person’s life.
Social housing is important, not just because it’s more affordable than so-called affordable or private sector housing, but because social housing is not just an investment in now, it’s an investment in our communities for ever and we keep it in social ownership and we can keep providing that service.
“As of September there were 1400 families on the housing list in Southend, 592 of them are living in temporary accommodation and 320 of those are children – 320 kids living in temporary accommodation – and we’ve got a piece of land just up the road, on which we can build 400 houses on. That’s going to go a long way to solving that problem.
“Homes England are basically doing what they are being asked to do. The Government wants to be able to say that it’s built those houses. But they don’t really mind if they are bought by profiteers who just want to become private landlords and rent them out at astonishingly high rents.”
James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, has offered to meet with members of the FFTP group, but he declined to attend this meeting. A chocolate teapot was placed on the chair that he would have occupied.