Stephen Williams - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams Slams Regional Housing Policy

3.34.00pm BST (GMT +0100) Tue 7th Oct 2008

East Brighton homes (photography: Paul Elgood)

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has criticised the government's housing policy for the South West of England. In a House of Commons debate on the Regional Spacial Strategy he said that the government had ignored the need for better transport infrastructure in the areas proposed for new housing. He said, "The M4/M5 interchange, the M32 and the A38 are already at gridlock during peak times. Building tens of thousands of new houses in the areas around Bristol will just make matters worse."

The strategy proposes over 30,000 new homes within Bristol as well as 32,000 in South Gloucestershire plus 21,000 in Bath and North East Somerset and 27,000 in North Somerset. Stephen Williams added, "The loss of green space around Bristol is of concern to people in the city, as well as those who live in neighbouring authorities. Bristol offers all the advantages of a big city but you are never far away from green open space. Furthermore, if tens of thousands of new residents are attracted to Bristol's green belt many of them will work in the city. Our already creaking transport infrastructure simply cannot cope with the extra traffic."

Stephen is also concerned about the "top-down" way that decisions are being made. "It is ludicrous that these target numbers are being foisted upon us by central government. It should be up to local people and their elected representatives to plan the future size and shape of their communities."

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