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SEEDA welcomes proposals for the South East Plan

17 July 2008

SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, today welcomes proposed changes to the South East Plan that support the sustainable economic development of the region.

Plans to increase to 33,125 the number of new homes to be built across the region each year over the next 20 years are good news. They will help Dover, Shoreham and Whitehill/Bordon, locations where local communities and local Councils see additional housing helping regenerate their communities. SEEDA will continue to work with partners in these areas to deliver these exciting plans.

"I believe that the projected housing figure for the region represents a sensible balance in the current economic climate. We need to maintain current levels of house building and to secure a healthy pipeline of well serviced sites, even in difficult economic times".

SEEDA Chief Executive Pam Alexander

SEEDA has emphasised to government that sustainable development of new housing will only be possible if infrastructure to support the residents is available. This means local jobs as well as investment in transport, utilities including waste and water, broadband access, schools, hospitals and community facilities. SEEDA’s evidence suggests that, in the longer term, there may need to be a further increase in housing provision to support continued economic success.

"However for the public sector the priority now is to make the infrastructure investments and retain the construction skills which will be essential to ensure a swift response when the upturn comes."

SEEDA Chief Executive Pam Alexander

SEEDA strongly supports the greater profile given in the Proposed Changes to smart growth in the region. This is a key aim of the Regional Economic Strategy, to maximise our economic growth by raising levels of enterprise, economic activity and productivity throughout the region. This will make the most of our resources without damaging the high living standards which are central to the success of the South East. SEEDA also welcomes the proposal to safeguard land for a second runway at Gatwick. It is vital that we keep this option open for the long term to help sustain the economic success of the South East.



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