The shortage of housing has become one of the biggest challenges facing our society today. The failure to ensure that housebuilding kept pace with population growth has led to spiralling rents and house price inflation to the extent that house prices are way out of step with household incomes.
That is okay for people like me who own their own home, not great for younger generations who wonder whether they will ever be able to afford their own home.
The fact is we need to build a lot more new homes.
This will require some brave decisions by local councils and I commend Thurrock council for recognising this need as it revises its local plan.
Of course, new housebuilding requires investment in local infrastructure. It is a particular challenge for our road network which is already at capacity.
Which brings me to the lower Thames crossing. Some are suggesting Thurrock Council should support expansion of capacity at the existing crossing. This would severely curtail the council’s freedom to determine where new housing should be developed. In short it would place ever more pressure on the densely populated west of the borough. We have successfully resisted developments at Heath Place and the Aveley Fire Brigade site but such developments will be very difficult to resist unless there is new road infrastructure to the East.
The time has come for mature discussion to settle where we build houses for the next generation. Do get involved and shape our future community.