'The Barker review makes a convincing case that undersupply of housing is damaging the UK's economy but, unlike the...
'The Barker review makes a convincing case that undersupply of housing is damaging the UK's economy but, unlike the government, it acknowledges that - in the south-east at least - a lack of central government resources for new infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals, is a major check on providing new homes. Essex CC's own research suggests that the county might be able to accommodate up to 110,400 additional homes with substantial additional infrastructure investment, making a major contribution to addressing the economic concerns identified by Barker and providing new homes for local people.
'However, council leaders fear that the Barker report is likely to be used by a central government unfamiliar with local circumstances to demand yet more homes even beyond the 150,000 which the government says it wants Essex to provide.
Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex CC said: 'It only takes a few road or rail journeys from Essex into London, the route that most of these new homeowners would take each day, to realise just how much investment is required to bring Essex infrastructure up to an acceptable level for current demand. Government has to face up to the need to invest in the physical and social infrastructure of the area before levering new homes into the county.
Essex CC estimates that there is an existing requirement to spend £8bn simply to bring current transport infrastructure up to an acceptable level.
BARKER REVIEW: INTERIM REPORT ON HOUSING SUPPLY PUBLISHED(Treasury)