The Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has responded to a consultation with Councillors on the proposed new Housing Strategy for the Borough by asking for more affordable, accessible and environmentally friendly homes to be built.
Councillor Sykes said: “More affordable homes are needed, including more homes for social-rent and for part-ownership, especially for first-time buyers and renters on a lower income who need a helping hand to get on the housing ladder. With our growing population, we will also need more accessible properties catering for the needs of older people with disabilities, for families with one or more children with disabilities and for young adults with disabilities wishing to live independently.”
“Finally, we are all becoming increasingly aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint to help save Mother Earth. The Oldham Liberal Democrats would like to see more eco-homes with excellent thermal insulation and the means to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources, and, with the drive towards electric vehicles, with a charging point as standard.”
For the Liberal Democrats, a given is that housing development should not be on the greenbelt. Councillor Sykes added: “We are totally opposed to any house building on our precious green belt when there are existing brownfield sites that can be built upon first, including cleared sites with planning permission and derelict mills and empty shops in our town centres that can be converted. These locations are often eyesores and local people would often welcome them being brought back into productive use. The greenbelt is irreplaceable and once lost will be lost forever – that is why so many residents in this borough are up in arms about Labour’s proposals in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.”