Protection of greenbelt dominates election pledges


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A West of England plan for more than 100,000 homes to be built by 2036 may have suffered a setback, but it is clear the sight of housing developments springing up in North Somerset will not be unusual in the future.

North Somerset Council - along with counterparts in Bath, Bristol and South Gloucestershire - may be looking again at where homes will be built, but it is not expected the requirement to find areas to build on will reduce.

North Somerset's General Election candidates explain how enough places to build can be found, how they will help people get on to the property ladder and protect the district's countryside.

Hannah Young - Labour:

North Somerset needs genuinely affordable housing.

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A Labour Government will invest in a million new homes, including 100,000 council or housing association properties a year, for rent or sale at prices people can pay.

It will prioritise brownfield sites to protect the greenbelt. It will ensure new homes are zero-carbon within three years and invest in insulation and low-carbon upgrades to make every home energy-efficient.

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Labour will give private renters more secure tenancies, control rent rises, and tackle landlords renting out unfit homes.

It will reverse scrapping of housing benefit for young people and outline a plan to end rough sleeping.

Ashley Cartman - Liberal Democrats:

There is no doubt we are in a housing crisis. People are crying out for affordable homes, young people cannot afford to buy houses, and homelessness is increasing. Our existing homes are not fit for the climate emergency.

We will increase house building and ensure by 2021 all new houses are built to zero carbon standards.

We want to protect the greenbelt and make better use of brownfield sites. We will also undertake a 10-year emergency programme to better insulate all our homes, focusing first on those in need so they don't have to choose between heating and eating.

Liam Fox - Conservatives:

We all want to see young people get a chance to get on the housing ladder - and that means more houses must be built - but new housing must be matched with improved infrastructure or existing communities in North Somerset will see their quality of life reduced.

Large parts of North Somerset have restrictions on building due to greenbelt, floodplain or areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Projects such as large-scale building in Ashton Vale would ruin the local environment for thousands of residents and it should be resisted.

We must next ensure our precious greenbelt is protected for future generations.

Philip Neve - Green Party:

Housing provision by most builders, whose primary motive is only profit, are failing to provide the right types and quality of homes and they also have a stranglehold over land acquisition that blocks smaller and innovative groups from building.

We need to reform the land and planning processes to allow opportunities for other groups, including local communities, to provide appropriate housing affordable for all.

Building regulations and control need reforming and resourcing to drive the delivery of zero carbon buildings.

We need a major programme to build social housing for rent and shared ownership and discounted right to buy should be scrapped.

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