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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 15:59 GMT
Assembly rejects extra homes bid
Building work
EERA believes 100,000 extra homes are "unsustainable"
An extra 100,000 new homes in the eastern region - on top of the 478,000 already planned - are "unsustainable", the government has been warned.

East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) has expressed concern at new population figures which suggest the extra homes will be needed by 2021.

An EERA spokesman said the projections "should be disregarded".

The projections were unveiled earlier this week by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

An ODPM spokesman said the new homes were needed to meet the demands of an ageing, growing population with more people living alone.

Councillor John Reynolds, chair of EERA's regional planning panel, said on Thursday: "The new household projections are completely unacceptable to EERA.

'Public services stretched'

"The predictions for household growth in the East of England over the next 20 years are surprisingly high and if translated into new homes would result in a massive increase in housebuilding and development that is simply not sustainable."

An EERA spokesman said a government report called Projections of Households in England and the Regions to 2026 predicts a regional increase of 561,000 households more than in 2001.

This compares with an increase of 465,000 households (2001-21) in the projections that underpin the draft East of England Plan published by EERA.

First time buyers

This increase could translate into demands for about 100,000 houses above the 478,000 already contained within the draft East of England Plan which has just completed its Examination in Public.

The ODPM spokesman said the new projections were linked to the latest sub national population projections from the independent Office for National Statistics. "However, the fact remains that we have an ageing, growing population with more people living alone and if we don¿t build more homes to meet that need we will see house prices rise further pushing first time buyers out of the market."


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