"Suffolk's Greenfields Face Whitehall Bulldozer" Warns Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley

Tuesday, 18 February, 2003

Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket MP pledges to fight to protect local environment

Responding to the publication of new 'Communities Plan' by the Government, David Ruffley MP warned that Whitehall-imposed building targets would lead to the loss of green spaces and Green Belt across the county. Research suggests that Suffolk already faces the dumping of 29,150 new buildings on green fields. On top of this, parts of the South East, East of England and East Midlands, now face additional house building targets, offset by communities in the North having housing torn down.

Suffolk's current county structure plans, forced on them by the Government's regional house building targets, reveals that 53,000 new buildings have to be constructed across Suffolk; but since 1997, only 45 per cent of houses have been built on previously developed land, meaning green fields are likely to take the brunt of the new developments.

David Ruffley said: 'Labour's plans to let rip with the bulldozer and concrete mixer will provoke huge outrage across Suffolk. We all want to see more affordable housing; yet these Whitehall building targets will just result in more executive homes being dumped on our green spaces, rather addressing the demand for more housing to buy and rent near existing communities that have schools, hospital and other amenities.

'The amount of newly built social housing has fallen by a third since Labour came to power. Yet Labour intend to make up for this failure by bulldozing the north and concreting the south. I will fight to protect our green spaces.'