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House in order


Your introduction to The Question (NCE 3 February) refers to 200,000 houses to be built by John Prescott under the south east regional plan.

SEERA's pamphlet A Clear Vision for the SE (January 2005) shows the real number is 28,000 per year for the 20 year plan period - 560,000 houses.

It does not give the baseline population but from my estimate of 7.5M this amounts to roughly 1% per year. About two thirds is said to be natural growth by the indigenous population and one third net inward migration, mostly from London.

Perhaps this number can be accommodated without overcrowding the region if brownfield sites are targeted.

My over-riding concern is that the 28,000 houses per year figure is laid down by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister without, as far as I know, public discussion or approval.

Should it not be explained to and approved by Parliament?

Should not some of the expansion be encouraged more forcibly into deprived and declining areas of northern England?

Edward Hepper (F), Uplands, 61 Queens Road, Alton, Hants, GU34 1JG

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