Having bumped into the affable and warm Grant Shapps, housing minister in the tea room I was informed his reading of choice was this blog.
Such high compliments I am sure!
A friendly discourse of course but I am pleased to say Mr Shapps has agreed to visit Hyndburn. During 2011 was as good as he'd say though I must stress - as he reads this - the people of Woodnook cannot wait that long.
It would appear are differences are around housing management. In Hyndburn the population I static so new builds must be matched by demolition and when new build is far greater than reductions in housing stock you end up with Woodnook.
The New Homes Bonus has flaws. It is one dimensional in many ways rewarding growth and having an adverse impact on low demand.
Hyndburn Councils policy will be to build and build and board up board up board up. Demolitions will under Mr Shapps proposed scheme, be netted off.
The issue is particularly adverse on regeneration schemes that bring added value but reduce stock, such as two an three into ones.
I raised these points which came from
discussions with local council officers and my own experience crunching numbers in the DCLGs New Homes Bonus calculator.
I'll be writing to Mr Shapps to encourage a speedier visit to Hyndburn. With 2500 empty properties, I think it will provide him with much food for thought.
So if your reading this Grant, kettles on and there's a warm Lancashire welcome, except in frosty April.
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