Ruffley slams Government changes to East of England Plan: Total rise to 61,700 new houses in Suffolk

Friday, 29 December, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today spoken out about proposed changes made by the Government to the draft East of England Plan.

The changes, announced this week, have seen the Government increase the number of new houses to be built in Suffolk over the next 15 years from 58,600 to 61,700- an increase of 3,100 houses.

In November the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) warned building 500,000 new homes in the East of England will place huge pressure on the environment and 'carve up the countryside'.

CPRE has collected more than 1,200 signatures on a petition against the plans.

The East of England Regional Assembly has today warned that any such increase should come with financial backing from the Government as the region currently has the lowest level of public spending per head of the population in the country.

David said:

'I think to have 500,000 new homes in the East of England in the next 15 years is absolutely crazy when you remember that the Government has no plans to properly resource schools, hospitals, roads and other essential infrastructure to serve any of these new plans.

'61,700 of these would be in Suffolk. In my constituency by 2021 we would see 10,000 new homes in St Edmundsbury and 8,000 in Mid Suffolk.

'Instead of suggesting how they will fund giving Suffolk the essential infrastructure it needs to support new housing this Government has actually increased Suffolk's allocation in the East of England Plan by over 3,000 houses- it is beyond comprehension.

'Quite honestly they are putting the cart before the horse. Until the East of England gets a clear undertaking from whatever Government that the region will be properly resourced, as far as I'm concerned they can stuff this plan and consign it to the dustbin where it belongs.'