Christchurch Labour Party
Christchurch Labour Party

Statement on the development plans by REIDsteel which would see 167 new homes built with little effort to ensure that the housing is affordable and a solution to the added congestion.

The development by REIDsteel to replace its old factory site with 167 new homes has been met with many objections by residents. Christchurch Labour Party concurs with those objections as the conditions by REIDsteel have not been met to ensure that this development would benefit the wider community.

In an article by the Bournemouth Echo, it is stated that despite attempts by the council to get REIDsteel to ensure that the homes developed would be affordable, they have categorically said that “the development would be unviable if it had to make any available at affordable rates”.

We believe that REIDsteel is putting their own profits before the people of Christchurch and that they should guarantee that all the housing developed is affordable. The average wage in Christchurch is £24,000 and at best you would be able to borrow around £144,000 for a mortgage, meaning that the housing proposed by REIDsteel excludes ordinary people and only makes available housing for those wealthy few.

We believe that the neglection of ordinary people by private companies who place profit over people is one which needs to be addressed and developments such as these impede young people and families from being able to get on the housing ladder. Furthermore, for those who can afford the housing which would be built, it would add to the congestion problems that the area faces.

We believe they have not considered the full implication of the increase of vehicles, with families often having two cars, this is more likely to lead to a considerable increase of vehicles on the road, in and out of the new development. This will also add pressure to our already strained public services. There needs to be an approach from the council to fully consider the implications in the long-term.

We are deeply disappointed that every development proposed fails to consider the main issues that we face in Christchurch and across the country, such as the need for a mixed development that would give better employment opportunities for everyone across multiple sectors, better childcare facilities and open green spaces. Furthermore, we believe they haven’t fully considered the need for social enterprises and local businesses and how beneficial they would be to the community.

Christchurch Labour Party feels that it will only work when they can guarantee that the housing developed will be affordable and that they have properly come up with a solution to the issue of increased congestion, which would add to air pollution within the area. This development would be considerable strain on a wide range of local services and would increase a housing stock that is unaffordable for the majority who live in Christchurch.

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