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Surplus land not a "cash cow" but an opportunity for affordable housing-Farron

December 9, 2008 5:30 PM

As first time buyers up and down the country struggle to get a foothold on the property market, Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has revealed that DEFRA presently holds 117 hectares of surplus land which he believes should be used to provide affordable housing.

A parliamentary question tabled by Mr Farron revealed that the surplus land owned by DEFRA has estimated value of just under £6.7million.

Mr Farron has described DEFRA's treatment of the surplus land as 'hoarding', treating the land as a "cash cow" and has called on the Government to make this land available to provide the energy saving, affordable housing as part of the Liberal Democrats "Green New Deal" response to the current economic emergency.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"It's crucial that during a time of such economic crisis that the Government makes building more affordable housing one of its top priorities.

"Instead of selling off the land just to plug the gap in the budget left by their own careless spending, the Government should investigate how they can use this brownfield land to provide a generation of affordable "green" housing for local communities.

"This Labour Government has been so focused on fixing the roof that they have failed to notice that there are millions who can't even afford a home.

"It's about time that this Government abandoned its quick fix solutions and started to plan for the future. Using this brownfield land to provide fully insulated affordable housing would help galvanise a Green New Deal that will benefit an entire generation."