Riverworks - The Housing Sums That Don't Add Up
The Riverworks proposals put forward by Preston City Council include the idea of building over 4000 houses on the South Bank of the River Ribble - on land opposite Broadgate which is currently green fields, allotments and amateur league football pitches - land that is popular green belt land, and in the flood plain of the river.
You might think that the idea of building housing in such a beautiful area must be a response to pressing need, and that after extensive searching, there are no alternative brownfield sites, or places that are not in the floodplain to build this housing.
I was surprised therefore to read in yesterday's 'Preston and Leyland Citizen' in the front page article about the idea of building housing on a patch of land in Fulwood that
"Phil Davies, assistant director of planning said residential developments would not be permitted as the city already had enough housing."
A few days ago, I published details of another patch of land, The Hulmes Mill site in Leyland which will not have housing built on it either as there is
"an oversupply of housing in the South Ribble area"
Lets get this straight - Preston City Council think there is 'enough' housing in Preston, and South Ribble Council think there is an 'oversupply' of housing in South Ribble - so why on earth do the Riverworks proposals suggest building 4000 houses?
Where exactly did these ideas come from? These housing proposals are clearly neither wanted, nor needed, by Preston residents, so how did they come to be included in Riverworks? Who suggested it, and why is the council spending money on feasibility studies, and asking for much more money from the national lottery to push these ideas forward?
The Save The Ribble campaign will be working hard to find out the answers to these questions.
One thing is clear, the Riverworks housing and barrage proposals are ideas that are being driven by the potential profits of developers, rather than by the wishes or needs of residents of Preston and South Ribble.
Labels: floodplain housing