The political divide over social housing in Bolton

FOR once, the administration in power on Bolton’s advice and the opposition are singing almost the same song sheet, when it comes to social housing.

But as the Tory-led council defends their master plan for the borough, Labor opponents wonder why there is an ongoing housing crisis.

Cllr Toby Hewitt, a member of the Borough’s Strategic Housing Planning and Planning firm, believes affordable housing is essential as more people decide to live and work in Bolton.

The use of sites such as Rivington Chase and the old Moor Lane station, classified as brownfield, is also a key factor in ensuring the borough does not become overdeveloped.

He said: “More and more people are choosing to live and work in Bolton, and with that comes an increased demand for housing. Affordable housing, both for rent and for purchase, is a crucial element of many current and upcoming development projects in the borough.

“Recent examples include affordable housing under the Rivington Chase program and the redevelopment of Moor Lane which received planning permission last week.

“These new homes are being delivered to brownfields, which helps provide affordable homes while protecting our green belt from overdevelopment. ”

Bolton’s Labor group says it “fully supports” initiatives to create more affordable housing in the borough, but the housing crisis is the work of the Conservatives.

Cllr Richard Silvester, member of the shadow cabinet for housing and strategic planning, said: “The Labor group fully supports initiatives to create more affordable housing in the borough, whether it is affordable to buy or rent and using vacant brownfields to do this.

“The current council is in fact continuing the work of the old labor administration, which, along with key partners such as Bolton At Home and the Irwell Valley Housing Association, used brownfields to create affordable housing.

“One example is the mixed development of houses and apartments on the former Chorley Street municipal parking lot, which is now nearing completion.

“The work to identify brownfields across the borough as part of the Greater Manchester spatial framework, now renamed Places for Everyone, has been undertaken by the Labor Council.

“However, we have to ask ourselves, after 11 years of Conservative government, why there is such a housing crisis and the answer is very simple.

“The Conservative government has done very little to deal with the crisis and has even made it worse through several of its policies, removing the developer subsidy to decontaminate old industrial land so that the incentive is instead to develop. open green grounds. with homes that are far from affordable for many people.

“With the Conservatives’ planning proposals hanging in Parliament, they have no strategy to meet their housing goals and deliver the new homes the country needs.

“So Labor is watching very closely what the government and the Tory administration in Bolton Council are doing and we will hold them accountable if the promises and targets they have made for 2023 are not kept. ”

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