Lib Dems call for thousands of new council houses to be built in Guildford

October 3, 2018 9:54 PM


Guildford Liberal Democrats welcome the announcement by the Prime Minister at Conservative party conference that the government will finally scrap the cap on the ability of councils to borrow to build new council houses. The Lib Dems say that the cap should be lifted as soon as possible and that Guildford Borough Council should seize the opportunity and build thousands of new council houses.

Guildford Liberal Democrats' Parliamentary Spokesperson Zöe Franklin said:

"I'm very pleased that the Conservatives are finally listening to what the Liberal Democrats and others have been saying for years about the cap on council borrowing for housebuilding: that it made no sense and was fuelling the housing crisis. The government should prove this announcement is more than just warm words and provide action by scrapping the cap as soon as possible.

"If they do so then it's vital that Guildford Borough Council grasps the opportunity and builds the thousands of new council houses that we need to finally give people affordable options for renting in our borough.

"Guildford Liberal Democrats and our group on the borough council will be developing detailed proposals for exactly how these council houses can be built within the constraints of the local plan.

"Options we'll be looking at will include the possibility of the council compulsory purchasing potential development sites and then building on them itself, or for the council to work with developers to build out the affordable housing percentages on private developments as council houses.

"We want to make sure that, at the ballot box in May next year, residents have the option to vote for a party that will build new council houses we need to tackle the housing and renting crisis, whilst protecting the character of our town and villages and without requiring any further building on the greenbelt."

At their party conference last month the Liberal Democrats called for the housing borrowing cap to be lifted and for Right To Buy to be scrapped as part of a package of measures designed to tackle the housing crisis.