Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, has spoken out about his disappointment of the government increasing Medway’s housing target.
In September, Medway Council supported the government’s proposal to change the methodology to calculate the number of new homes each area across the country is required to deliver. The proposal would have reduced Medway’s housing target by more than 8,000, from 28,300 homes to 20,000.
However, last month Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed the government has not adopted September’s proposal. Medway now faces the challenge of delivering 1,662 new homes each year during the Local Plan period: 2020-2037.
'We will do all we can to protect Medway'
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “The council is working hard to achieve sustainable and realistic growth for Medway’s residents, providing additional facilities with new builds, so the government’s announcement that Medway now faces a higher housing target than we had hoped is certainly extremely disappointing news.
“If the proposed methodology put forward in September had been brought in, Medway could have potentially met its housing targets. However, we now face an uphill struggle to reach the target we’ve been given by government of building 28,300 new homes by 2037. What’s even more disconcerting is that we potentially face repercussions from the government if we fail to squeeze 1,662 new homes into Medway each year.
“Medway is committed to delivering new homes to meet its residents’ needs, as well as much needed new amenities such as schools, but we will do this within a sustainable way that’s best for Medway’s future. While drafting Medway’s Local Plan we have carefully considered how the area could evolve including providing sufficient jobs and infrastructure for a growing population, as well as maintaining Medway’s parks and historic sites. We remain committed to protecting Medway’s bright future and not adding to the pressures our services and health care providers already face.
“We will do all we can to protect Medway and ensure it remains an excellent place to live, work, learn and visit for now and in the future.”