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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Families 'in need of more houses'
House under construction
Thousands of homes are planned for Kent, Sussex and Surrey
Plans to build tens of thousands of houses across the South East are not enough to tackle homelessness, the charity Shelter has said.

Consultation on the South East Plan, in which the regional assembly set out home-building options, ended on Friday.

Shelter said the maximum proposed level of building - 32,000 homes a year - "falls short of what is needed".

Plans allow building in the Gatwick, Ashford and Thames Gateway areas, in Surrey and along the Sussex coast.

Shelter's director, Adam Sampson, said: "Tens of thousands of children in the South East are having their futures wrecked by homelessness, overcrowding and bad housing.

Scaremongering criticised

"If we fail to tackle these problems today we are not only letting down those families and youngsters who are suffering at the sharp end of the housing crisis, but we are storing up huge problems.

"Those who argue we should reduce the level of housing growth need to recognise the scale of the current crisis in affordability and supply.

"Only a dramatic increase in the number of new social homes built will help those families in desperate need.

"All new housing must be sustainable and designed to minimise environmental impact, focusing on high-density building in urban areas or on brownfield land.

"The question is not whether we build these homes, but when, where, and how quickly."

The South East England Regional Assembly intends to submit its finished plan in October.

Chief executive Paul Bevan said: "Shelter's response to the consultation on this first draft of the South East Plan will be considered carefully alongside all others, before the Assembly agrees the draft plan for submission to government."

Agency wants more house building
10 Apr 05 |  England

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