In the Folkestone and Hythe District Council Core Strategy Review 2018 Consultation Draft (Regulation 18), policy SS2 (page 58) makes clear that between 2018/19 to 2036/37, a total requirement of 12,030 news homes need to be built over this period.
The Core Strategy review at page 59 goes onto break down the numbers and gives some locations of the C3 dwellings.
So 5,500 homes for Otterpool Park make up the number and 350 for Sellindge, the rest will no doubt be spread out across our wonderful district.
You can see the brochures now with their deligthful quotes “An exciting development of 150 executive homes” a development “At the Heart of the Community”, on what used to be a much-loved piece of woodland.
All these new developments are “exciting” or “outstanding” or “exclusive”, and never “barely adequate”, “shoddily built” or “Bloody hell, you want a garden with that?” as that would probably not sell many units.
And all these estates are called something rather twee, like “Bluebell Rd “, “Beech Copse Close”, or “Oak View Park”, presumably to mark the demise of an area now covered in concrete, where once majestic trees thrived.
However, apart from the marketing hyperbole, there is a small problem, that being the population growth figures published by the Council in their Annual Equality Diversity Report (page 7 & 8); which state:
The most recent population figures (mid-2017) estimate that population of Folkestone & Hythe is 111,400. This accounts for 7.2% of the total population with the Kent County Council area.
Population Growth Forecasts
Folkestone & Hythe’s population is forecast to rise by nearly 8.25% over the next 20 years, reaching an estimated 120,400 by 2036. While Kent as a whole is expected to grow in line with historical population figures, increasing by 22.2% over the same 20 year period, these estimates predict a slowing of population growth in the district. Estimates, however, do not take into account any future developments in the district.
This means the population is expected to rise by 9,000 people in the district over the next 18 years. To be generous, 5,500 homes would house the growth in population over the time period. This leaves us with 6,500 homes. Who will live in them? Is it expected that a population of approximately 11,500 people will move into the district, from elsewhere in the UK?
Also two of the three categories of population in the district are exepected to decrease, the 0-15 and 16-64, with the 65+ population increasing by 53% over the given period. So the need for houses/flats in the numbers stated in the Folkestone and Hythe District Council Core Strategy Review 2018 don’t need to be so high, do they? It would makes sense to us to build bungalows which are in short supply across the district.
Over the whole period the economically active in the district will rise slighty, then fall. Of course, these are forecasts, guesstimates by professionally qualified people.
Now the report says:
The average weekly earnings of those that work in the district (not necessarily Folkestone & Hythe residents) are on average 6% less than those who live here. This differentiation is largest amongst female workers: the average female living in the district who works full time earns £428.60 a week. The average female working in the district (not necessarily resident here) earns £396.60 a week.
Source: NOMIS, Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings, 2017
Contrast this with:
Based on a study of full-time workers, the average earnings of males in Folkestone & Hythe exceed county and national comparisons. (page 22)
So what does it mean for women and their chance to buy a home in the district? That home-ownership is skewed in favour of men, as they earn more money? How many of you work part time, at two jobs and still come nowhere near the average earnings a week? Also do remember the Bank of Mum & Dad cannot afford to help every member of their offspring.
So from the evidence presented to us, by the Council, in the Core Strategy Review Consultation & the Annual Equality Diversity Report there is evidence of gender discrimination.
Coming back on point, who then are all these extra 6,500 homes for? Is it as many of you have said or thought, for the Others From Elsewhere (TOFE’s)
The Shepwayvox Team -Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful