Call to fight RAF homes

PUBLISHED: 03:06 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:21 24 May 2010

A SENIOR district councillor says plans for affordable housing on the former RAF Locking site should be 'fought to the bitter end'. Cllr Elfan Ap Rees has criticised proposals from English Partnerships (EP) and the Regional Development Agency (RDA) to bui

A SENIOR district councillor says plans for affordable housing on the former RAF Locking site should be 'fought to the bitter end'.Cllr Elfan Ap Rees has criticised proposals from English Partnerships (EP) and the Regional Development Agency (RDA) to build around 2,000 homes on the site, claiming they will put increased pressure on Weston's strained resources and add to the traffic chaos for commuters.The site, now named Locking Parklands, has been earmarked for development by its owners, EP and RDA, which want to build new leisure centres, schools, houses and offices creating hundreds of new jobs.Cllr Ap Rees, who represents Locking, said: "Both local residents and members of North Somerset Council have expressed firm wishes for this site to be devoted to creating new employment for the area, with ample land elsewhere to meet future housing needs."Instead the agencies insisted on pushing their own plans for development beyond 2011 to focus on building up to 2000 houses, apparently seeing RAF Locking as an ideal place to develop so-called affordable housing that in reality will not meet real local needs."The fact is that RAF Locking is ideally placed to meet Weston's long term hi-tech, office and educational needs, in a beautiful mature setting. To squander it on unwanted housing when more suitable sites exist closer to the town centre and all the facilities is criminal and must be fought to the bitter end."But RDA spokesman Alison Hollinshead said: "Affordable housing does not just refer to socially rented accommodation. "It covers a number of housing tenures such as lower than market value housing, shared ownership, key worker housing and stepped housing. Locking Parklands will contain a mix of housing, employment space, community facilities and green space.

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