More Emsworth homes needed

A growing need for affordable homes in Emsworth has been highlighted.

Cllr Brendan Gibb-Gray, who represents the Emsworth ward on the Havant local authority, is calling for an increase in the number of affordable homes in the town, highlighting a need for individuals and families to get on to the much-aspired property ladder.

“The need for housing is overwhelming – it’s not diminishing and is not going to go away.

“Many young people aspire to get on to the property ladder, which at the moment is near-on impossible,” said Cllr Gibb-Gray.

“In the local area we have more than 4,400 households on the Hampshire Home Choice Register. We are seeing an increase in the number of families in B&B accommodation and we have seen a massive increase in people seeking assistance from our housing department.”

Havant Borough Council’s local plan outlines between 2008-2026 a total of 6,300 new homes needing to be built, while Havant Borough Council’s target says 315 homes need to be built annually.

“Havant Borough Council doesn’t have land available to release to social landlords, so has to rely on private landowners to offer their land for development. It’s a big ask for a small place but we need to take on our share,” added Cllr Gibb-Gray.

A number of Emsworth residents fear additional housing could have a detrimental effect on the area’s infrastructure and threaten the area’s greenfield sites.

Mrs Jane Gaylard, 60, from Emsworth, said: “I understand people, particularly young people, need places to live but we need to have infrastructure there as well. I don’t think they should build on all our open land. I don’t think we have to fill the gap but we need to house people – not just social housing – and have more affordable housing for younger people.”

Raymond Latter, 89, from Emsworth, said: “The infrastructure won’t cope, especially in Westbourne.

“By the time the new homes go up, we’ll have lost a lot of our green fields – they will be filled between Emsworth and Westbourne.”