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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 09:47 GMT
Minister accepts housing tensions
Gillian Merron
Gillian Merron stresses there is a need for more housing
The East Midlands minister Gillian Merron says there is still a need for more housing in the region, despite local opposition.

The government wants to build 451,000 new homes in the East Midlands over the next 18 years.

But plans for "eco towns" in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire have met some opposition from local residents.

Ms Merron said she accepted there would be tensions between some communities.

Residents' opposition

She said: "There are tensions of course, but the fact is we do need more housing. People do demand the opportunity to buy or to rent a decent quality of home and people also demand improvements to the homes that they're in now.

"And I think these are proper demands that in the East Midlands we have to meet."

Ms Merron, who is the MP for Lincoln, said the demand for housing is a sign of prosperity in the region.

"We need to increase the number of homes that people can afford to rent or buy and so the government is putting in ever greater support financially."

Many local residents opposed plans for up to 12,000 new so-called eco-homes in the region, with objectors claiming building on green belt land was not environmentally sound.

Gillian Merron MP talking about the proposals

Eco town opposition is stepped up
15 Dec 07 |  Derbyshire
Plans unveiled for two eco-towns
20 Nov 07 |  Derbyshire
Officials fear eco-town decision
19 Nov 07 |  Leicestershire
Eco-town proposal causes dismay
09 Nov 07 |  Leicestershire
Minister wants to offer 'a voice'
04 Jul 07 |  Lincolnshire

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