New Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP saw housing delivery in action on a visit to Rochester Riverside development in Medway as part of his role in building a housing market fit for the future.
Hot off the heels of major planning reforms announced earlier this week by the government, the minister joined Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, to tour the development, meet apprentices and see how the site is helping to support the needs of the community.
Working closely with joint landowners, Medway Council and Homes England, Countryside has already started 400 of the 1,400 homes since work began in 2018.
Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP said:
“There are few missions more important than building more homes in the places that desperately need them. Rochester Riverside is a great example of high quality, well designed homes with the infrastructure needed to create thriving communities that people want to live in. This is exactly what is at the heart of our new planning rule book which will help to deliver the 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”
Leader of Medway Council, Councillor Alan Jarrett said:
“We were delighted to welcome the new Minster of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse, to Medway and show him our flagship regeneration site, Rochester Riverside. Here we are undergoing a monumental regeneration programme and delivering developments across our 5 towns to provide new opportunities and growth for all our residents. We recognise the importance of meeting the housing demand and providing a range of accommodation, from luxury riverside homes to affordable. We have a rich cultural heritage and this year represents our twentieth anniversary, in which we are celebrating the huge transformation journey. We will continue to strengthen our economy, as well as provide further housing opportunities, over the next 20 years. It’s definitely an exciting future for those who choose to live, learn, work and visit Medway.”
Touring the first phase of the construction site, the minister saw for himself the design and materials used as the homes were being prepared for new residents to move in.
He also met apprentice brick layers working on the site, building the homes while also learning valuable skills to set them up for the future.
The minister’s visit follows the launch of the new National Planning Policy Framework on 24 July 2018, setting out new requirements for delivering high quality new homes, giving the community a real say in development proposals and also introducing tougher environmental protections that safeguard wildlife and air quality.
The government has been clear on its ambition to achieve 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, which follows 217,000 homes built last year, the biggest increase in housing supply in England for almost a decade.