Election 2019: Housing plans for North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 April 2019

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Housing has been a key issue over the past four years and is likely to be again this time around.

With tens of thousands of homes planned, the key questions of how to deliver them and where are not fully resolved.

The main parties have outlined their strategies.

Conservatives:

We are working with Homes England to get more affordable housing into Weston and surrounding areas and the regeneration of Weston is going well.

North Somerset has met with businesses that are interested in moving here and invested in creating more jobs so people taking up the new homes will have somewhere to work locally.

We are developing with other partners to create new skills centres and the food hub for developing small businesses, creating employment.

We have kept unemployment low, while developing the regeneration of Weston and two new villages.

The purchase of two main shopping areas protects jobs and now will develop new offers at these important sites.

The demolition of the former Avon and Somerset Constabulary police station is almost complete, and plans for new apartments are in progress.

Investment in restoration of historic sites in Weston with positive comments from Historic England, which wants to bring ministers here because of the great impression they have of the council's achievements and commitment.

Green Party:

Government policies and the property market have failed to provide adequate homes.

The Green Party supports the right homes in the right places. New housing should meet identified need with regard to community and to minimise environmental impacts.

The council's executive has not listened to the community voice. North Somerset Green Party supports new housing in sustainable locations built to the highest environmental standard and delivering affordable housing.

We are against developers reaping excessive profits, destroying the rural landscape, wildlife habitats and community cohesion.

Privately rented housing stock is often poorly insulated and expensive to heat. We urgently need to ensure that this is tackled, both for the tenants and to reduce carbon emissions.

The council needs to play an important role in ensuring that new regulations, requiring landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, are followed.

Labour:

Everyone needs a decent, safe home.

But right now that's just a dream for many. Spiralling house prices are denying more and more young people a home of their own.

Private renters are sometimes forking out over half of their wages on a home that is too often of poor quality.

And the scandal of sleeping on the streets is still with us.

We pledge:

* To build council housing

* Use the council's powers to ensure that housing developers pay in return for planning permissions

* Crack down on rogue landlords and introduce landlord licensing

* Invest in schemes to put a roof over everyone's head and full support of a night shelter

Liberal Democrats:

It is time for the Town Hall to listen to local people.

The Conservative majority has been in power for 12 years and it is time for change.

The Liberal Democrats are clear that we need more affordable and sustainable housing, but only when 
there is the infrastructure to match.

There are more than 20,985 houses proposed in the Conservative Core Strategy, which will have significant impacts on our schools, GP services, roads and environment.

We will only support schemes which protect existing communities and deliver high quality homes with services alongside.

We will also invest in a new generation of council houses with affordable rents, introduce a compulsory licensing scheme for landlords to protect renters and push our Housing First policy on homelessness.

This common-sense approach we are proposing is missing from Conservative policies.

Portishead Independents:

There are ideas for 1,800 more houses in Portishead by 2036.

We don't have the infrastructure to support this. Plans include the encircling of Weston Big Wood, ancient woodland and site of special scientific interest.

Portishead Independents will fight against any developments that do not have a clear infrastructure plan. Bulldozers will need to run over Portishead Independent councillors before they get near Weston Big Wood.

We are at the mercy of developers because Portishead Town Council has not created a neighbourhood plan. We will sort this by producing one with our community.

Our natural environment is an important factor in people's health, so development must consider the future wellbeing of Portishead people and put a money value on it. Development must have a zero-carbon element so we can contribute to solving the climate emergency declared by North Somerset.

We will lobby for new development to have more social, not just affordable housing.

Click here for a full list of candidates standing in your ward, including any independents.

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