Tories critical of housing problems

24 May 2004
The Conservatives have attacked Labour's building plans for the South of England, and what they see as a disregard for regeneration plans in the North.

Conservative housing spokesman John Hayes criticised the government's policy before outlining a possible future with the Conservatives.

Mr Hayes said his plans would give "a greater chance of fulfilling most peoples number one aspiration - to own a home of their own."

"We have also outlined how our approach would seek to regenerate urban areas - in stark contrast to Labour who would abandon them in favour of concreting over our green fields."

Mr Hayes emphasised that people need "social justice" to ensure everyone gets the same chances in housing matters and the creation of an "accessible home register".

The Tories called John Prescott's green belt statistics "bogus" and highlighted his apparent failure to tackle the problem of town cramming and urban sprawl.

The Tories feel other priorities for the public include giving communities the say over how to develop housing areas and doing more to protect the environment.

Sustainable regeneration seems to be another watchword on the Conservatives' lips - and an urban renaissance to make cities places "where families want to live and have their children schooled."

Mr Hayes also announced the new "Blacklist of Blight" - a list of old properties or disused building sites that can provide a mixed provision of high-quality housing and community services.