'Tackle immigration to solve housing shortage' says MP

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, November 29, 2012


TACKLING immigration, not more countryside building, could be the key to dealing with a widespread housing shortage, according to Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner.

He made the claim after planning minister Nick Boles MP said more areas of the countryside should be opened up for development to tackle a housing shortage in England.

In an interview for the BBC programme Newsnight, due to be screened last night (Wednesday), Mr Boles said that an increase of two to three per cent of developed land would be enough to solve the problem.

But Mr Turner has criticised Mr Bole’s approach and suggestions that those opposed to more development were selfish.

He said: "It’s grossly unfair to label those who want to protect the English countryside as 'selfish’. Is it 'selfish’ to want green space that our children and grandchildren can enjoy? Greenery may be a simple pleasure, but is a necessary one.

"It is one of the greatest attributes of the Island and I believe it should be protected.

"Is it 'selfish’ to want to protect our farmers, a cornerstone of the England’s economy? Island farmers need land to supply English and international consumers with agricultural products.

"These plans could side-line a major part of the English economy, which would not lead to long term growth but long term decline.

"Lastly, is it 'selfish’ to want to protect our history? The Island’s countryside is steeped in history and is a valuable part of English heritage. Once land is built on the damage cannot be undone. Plans for over-development could permanently scar the Island’s landscape and history."

According to a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research, England faces a housing supply 'black hole' by 2025 when England will face a shortfall of 750,000 homes, a spokeswoman for Mr Turner said.

He argued this would be better tackled by focusing on immigration.

"There is a shortage of housing on the Island. The Council’s homelessness strategy for 2008-2013 stated the overall current provision of housing on the Island is seven per cent less than the estimated actual need and the social rented housing provision is more than 40 per cent less than the actual need.

"However, we must look at the cause of the housing shortage rather than simply trying to patch up its consequences. The Isle of Wight has 370 people per square kilometre which is higher than the UK average.

"The problem lies with the UK’s population level which has increased exponentially. Since 1997 over 3 million immigrants have arrived in this country – that number dwarfs the expected housing shortage. To continue to let such huge numbers of people into our country is just unsustainable. If there is a choice between maintaining the English countryside or stopping mass immigration: I would choose to handle our borders better."


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Displaying the last 10 of 32 comments - Show All Comments

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by Michael Parsons

1st December 2012, at 16:33:10

I think Andrew Turner is 100% right. It's a great shame that more M.P.s and other `opinion formers` don't think the same and articulate these views. We should treat our country like we do our homes. We don't leave our outside doors wide open for anyone to enter, if we have tradespeople in we make sure they are genuine and ensure that they leave when the job is done, not let them bring their family to live in our houses because they are better than theirs and in a good neighbourhood. It's not just housing immigrants need, it's schools, health services and transport (we're told that the West Coast Main Line in almost full to capacity so we need a new 'High Speed' line from London to Birmingham then through to Manchester, Leeds and perhaps Scotland - like housing taking much of our 'green and pleasant land').

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by Mark Hitchman

1st December 2012, at 08:34:10

Hello Geoff, I'm not getting into an online slanging match but I had no idea you were in the BNP, still, shows your views haven't changed even if you're not in them anymore. I have no idea what you mean by "The Troubles" Good luck with your limited outlook on life.

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by geoffrey clynch

30th November 2012, at 11:39:42

Sorry that should be Alan Naylor not Taylor

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by geoffrey clynch

30th November 2012, at 11:33:45

Mark Hitchman, please remind me of your comment when the troubles start, besides i am not with the BNP anymore. Mr.Alan Taylor, NO i did not vote for Mr.Turner , I stood as a candidate against him, and i have a strong feeling that the rest on your list did not vote for him either, so please get your facts straight,

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by Mark Hitchman

30th November 2012, at 08:06:04

Geoff Clynch your BNP views are so out of date it's laughable!

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by Neil Rogers

30th November 2012, at 07:19:41

And evey week Mr Turner, picks a topic to put his name to that he knows, will have maximum impact in creating "replies" and therefore keeps his name in the CP... remedy ... !! perhaps focus our interest in the events affecting the Island, that Mr Turner always fails to act on ,,, and at the next election " ensure to vote him out " .... time for a new sheriff in town ..!! so to speak !!!

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by alan naylor

29th November 2012, at 23:20:44

Taylor Elliott Mc comb Walker Payne Clynch Crow Robbinson Smith Attrill Pailing Barklay jay if you all love the island so much why upon earth did you vote for a Oxford University man and not a local man or of course you did not vote at all

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by Steven Taylor

29th November 2012, at 21:07:06

Mr turner our MP who is just grabbing on his job.This law will not effect him has he has a nice flat in Cowes he rents and he owns a big house in newport and ...oh yes he owns a exspensive flat in London he rents out but he stays in another flat in London which is paid for by the taxpayer.Andrew Turner should be in jail but I bet his assisant on £18,000 a year will speak up for him, after all his assisant is his wife.

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by Stephen Elliott

29th November 2012, at 18:52:01

A nice racist headline. Try stopping the elite buying up all affordable housing and putting down laminate flooring and adding on an immediate 20%

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by david walker

29th November 2012, at 18:08:08

The flats where i live have always had tennanted but empty flats. Empty for years! 1 for almost 6 years southern housing are told but it seems they are powerless. And the housing benefit still gets paid, And the flats remain empty.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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