On April 19th 2021, a letter was sent by five councils to Robert Jenrick MP, then Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government & George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding the Stodmarsh nutrient issue which is prevent the building of up to 40,000 homes in East Kent. It’s also having a significant impact on the Stour River and all it’s tributaries (pictured).
The letter, which was signed by Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Kent County Council and Maidstone Councils (published in full below) makes it clear the issue is currently threatening the delivery of 33,000 homes in East Kent, identified within current Local Plans. The problem also threatens to stall progress with new Local Plans (approx 7,000 homes) which would deliver further growth to support the national drive for rapid acceleration of housing delivery.
It goes onto make clear they need
forward funding of up to £20.45m from Government to deliver 15 on-site treatment works to deliver 13,561 homes across the region on the largest sites
Identify forward funding for implementation of a nitrogen credits system (£5,000,000) We would also like to explore opportunities for accelerated programme and funding for upgrading Canterbury WWTW, well before 2030.
The letter makes it clear developers will have to pay to help alleviate the Stodmarsh Nutrient issue. However, the issue is primarily caused by Southern Water as we’ve made clear in previous posts on the Stodmarsh issue. So why do developers need to pay, as all this will do is add to the overall build cost of a home and the price it is sold at, making getting onto the property ladder even more expensive for people who get mortgages to purchase the new homes developers want to build.
Developers we have spoken to are disgruntled by the fact they are being lumbered with costs which ought to be borne by Southern Water’s dismal failure to deal with this issue as far back as 2009.
So here is the letter in full.
As you can see there are serious concerns and the costs involved are relatively small. However, as yet the Council have not received a response from the Minsters. Meanwhile necessary housing is being held up. This is not just detrimental to the Council’s, but to the people of East Kent who need homes to alleviate both internal and external migration into these council areas.
The Shepway Vox Team
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