New Housing Strategy Launched

Michael has officially launched Sevenoaks District Council’s newly adopted Housing Strategy at this year’s Sevenoaks Housing Forum.

The launch, which took place on Friday (3), follows the completion of the Housing Needs Survey in winter 2016.  The Housing Strategy document is the response to this survey.

The Strategy aims to tackle the shorter life expectancies associated with poor quality housing, using HERO officers to combat homelessness at an early stage and develop suitable housing options for young professionals and an ageing population.

With a focus on health, the document outlines a plan to support vulnerable people with mental or physical health issues, older people and military personnel re-adapting to civilian life.

In his address, Michael highlighted the ‘chronic issues poor housing causes’, particularly to individual wellbeing.  He asserted that ‘growing up or getting stuck in unsuitable housing are injustices that we must address in order to build a country that works for everyone’.

Michael hopes the Strategy will stand the test of time.  He said: ‘I’m delighted to support Sevenoaks District Council’s hard work to ensure our residents can access the housing that is right for them.  I hope their strategy will become an example that is followed by other councils across the country.’

Michael Welcomes Local Plan

Michael has welcomed the Sevenoaks District Council’s Local Plan survey: an important planning policy which says what can be built and where, as well as what should be protected up to 2035.

The survey, sent to every household in the district, is the first step to forming the new Local Plan.  It asks residents for their opinions on early suggested options for dealing with anticipated issues the district will face.

In a comprehensive set of responses, the Sevenoaks MP indicated that he supports the Council’s overall strategy to promote housing choice for all whilst maintaining Green Belt protections.

‘Only 15 per cent of housing here is affordable’, he wrote.  ‘Older generations need options to downsize and younger; economically-active families need a chance to move in.’

The local MP supported the District Council’s approach to promoting environmentally-friendly improvements, but cautioned against developing renewable sites that diverge from the historic aesthetic of the district.

Michael said: ‘The Plan recognises that both ambition and caution are required to deliver for the next generation.  Residents must decide how best to solve the challenges we face.  I will continue to work with the Council.’