‘Stop building houses’ plea as Kent population rise blamed on homes development

County housing developments

By Local Democracy Reporter Simon Finlay

The population in Kent is set to rise by the end of the decade – sparking further debate on housebuilding levels in the county.

An official document presented to Kent County Council (KCC) shows the number of inhabitants will have increased by 13% from 2018 and 2030, higher than the national average.

Critics say the growth is being driven by the rapid rate of housebuilding in Kent, caused by targets imposed by central government.

Much of the increase is driven by people leaving London to settle here as well as births exceeding deaths.

The Kent & Medway Economic Framework paper states: “The population has grown rapidly in recent years, increasing by 144,000 between 2010 and 2021.

“This level of growth equates to a 8.4% increase in the county’s population, compared with around 6.8% nationally.

“Looking to the future, Office for National Statistics’ projections anticipate strong continued population growth of around 13% between 2018-30 (compared with around 9% growth nationally). Over the same period, the working age population is also expected to grow, by around 6% (double the UK rate of increase).”

Cllr Trevor Shonk

Thanet independent county councillor Trevor Shonk said: “You can’t move on the roads in Thanet these days because of the traffic caused by the place being overloaded with houses, rubber-stamped by Thanet District Council and imposed by central government.

“We need to stop building houses for Londoners and start building affordable rented homes for locals to live in. We have to return empty properties back to occupation again.”

Cabinet member for planning, infrastructure and economic development at Maidstone council, Cllr Paul Cooper, said: “People are living longer and there are quite a lot of people getting divorced later in life.

“There is not the availability of properties in London to meet the demand there. People are moving in a southeast-centric way out of London because they still need to commute a couple of times a week or month.

“If you stop building homes in Kent, people in London will still want to move here and the consequence of that is local house prices would become astronomically high. Building homes deals with that.

“I agree that the roads on Kent are a complete and utter nightmare but not building houses is not going to stop that, either. There has to be greater emphasis on delivering infrastructure.

“Kent will absorb a small proportion of immigration to the UK, but it is only a small part.”

Cllr Cooper said that more than 40,000 homes have been delivered in Kent in recent years which will have pushed the population up with many from the capital.

Green Party councillor Mark Hood said the argument that building more houses keeps prices down is a “myth”.

He added: “It gives me cause for worry if the predicted growth in Kent’s population is as a result of people migrating here from other parts of the country.

“In any case the (Kent) prices are already way too expensive for most local people to afford. For me, you cannot have too much social housing so that people can have somewhere to live at a rent they can afford.

“The councils should be the developers, driving the provision of this housing.”

KCC’s Kent Analytics explains: “Kent’s population grew by 14,600 people between mid-year 2021 and mid-year 2022.

“This is a result of a net figure of 14,000 people moving into Kent and an increase of 600 people through natural change – more births than deaths. These figures equate to a 95.7% increase due to net migration and a 4.3% increase due to natural change.”

The migration figure applies to those moving into the county from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.

Conservative councillor for Cranbrook, Sean Holden, agreed the population increase is not organic.

He said: “It (the population) is increasing from without not within. The allocation of housebuilding targets in Kent is way too high – that’s what is driving it.

“We should stop building houses until we can get the infrastructure sorted out.

“Population increases puts pressure on resources and with it the need for services like GPs and schools.

“The government should be looking to the north for their population expansion, if that is what they want to do.”

Thanet council plan to ‘significantly’ speed up delivery of affordable homes and plans for new temporary accommodation

Council expected to agree purchase of former hotel in Ramsgate to create temporary accommodation

60 Comments

  1. Well well Well. All the years Shonk was a Tory and / or a Kipper he supported the Thatcherite Right To Buy (or rather right to a huge discount) and now he wants affordable homes for local people! A real whiff of hypocrisy here. What is needed is thousands of new COUNCIL homes. TDC has made a modest start with 400 but obviously a far greater number is required. Smell the coffee Trevor!

    • Spot on Keith, Trevor..not in my back yard Shonk strikes again taking us back to the I’m alright jack Tory mantra. We need a government that will start providing funds to local councils to build not so called affordable housing but ones our youngsters can rent at a price relevant to the wages available where they live. Hang on what am I saying, that would put the brakes on the craven developers who have controlled all our land since Thatchers time. I can dream.

  2. Just stop building on our farmland in Thanet enough is enough, food over housing all the time , no food no lives,

    • Indeed.

      It does not need a genius to work out that continually building more houses merely perpetuates the problem of over-population.

      If folks cut down on their breeding habits (and we stopped importing so many people from other countries) that would have a far greater positive impact on the environment than recycling our carrier bags !

      • According to the ONS there are over 150,000 Care Worker vacancies, why is that? Is it because of the poor wages, and the brake on foreign workers, or is because they have nowhere to live, and can’t afford the rents, or buy a property? This country has been run by a load of chancers for the last 14 years, who bankrupted it! The Tory’s couldn’t run a bath!

    • If the farms were commercially viable, farmers wouldn’t be selling. Brexit has made most small farms around here, commercially unviable.

  3. Right to buy with massive discounts has meant less affordable social housing and more second homes with empty houses on the side increase. We should have financial penalties for second homes, stricter controls on airbbs and that extra local income invested in council houses for local residents rather than people in private rented accommodation often treated like commodities than human beings

    • Mr Lewis – I see Mrs Raynor, deputy leader of your beloved Labour Party, took advantage of the scheme having recently sold former Council Home for a huge profit. Lectures from you and her on rights and wrongs regarding housing etc hold no sway with me.

      • And who wouldn’t take advantage of Margaret Thatcher’s scheme, if it was handed to them on a plate?
        Sad thing is, when Labour was in power post Thatcher, they didn’t rescind the Right to Buy scheme.

    • Of course the vast majority of those social homes were sold to existing tenants with lifetime tenancies and the right of succession, so in reality very few would have been helping with current need.
      You’ve not acknowledged the degree of social mobility these sales offered people.
      That many of those old social housing homes would be in dire need of lots of taxpayer support to improve them.
      As for treating social tenants as commodities, perhaps you should look at Grenfell , Lakanal House, Baby Aftab, those in Eaton Road being moved due to poor construction standards, etc etc.
      Then remember that the private rented sector has better tenant satisfaction scores than social housing , plus pays tax which greatly offsets any assumed support from the taxpayer.
      If its deemed that people have to pay more because they’ve chosen to spend their money on second homes , would it not also be fair to charge market rents from those in social housing that either under occupy or who’s incomes mean they can afford to pay more?

      • How does buying a council house give the original council tenants more “social mobility”? Do they change their friends? Does their educational standard improve? Are they suddenly able to get better-paid jobs? They are the same people that they were before they bought the council house. The only thing that’s different is that they now own the house.

        • Well they own a home that once the period in which they would have to repay some of the discount they can sell and move where ever they wish, an option they wouldn’t have within the social housing sector.
          They also benefit from being able to escape areas that have become largely lived in by the unemployed and benefit dependent, having the ability to buy their home rather suggests they work and have an income and likely have different attitudes to their neighbours.
          Those that had the opportunity to buy were very much in favour of the idea, that the Labour Party never legislated against it just shows how politically unpopular such a move would be and so they let it continue.

          • But wherever they move to, they’ll still be the same people basically. I don’t think that there was much social difference between people in post-war housing estates -what exactly are you referring to? It’s only fairly recently that there has been such a shortage of council housing that councils have had to limit their categories of eligible applicants for council house/flat.

          • No, up until the mid 1970’s council housing was largely allocated to those in steady work amd able to pay the rent, the then change meeds based allocation has led to the creation of the sink estates. The people able to move on were often those working tenants and when they moved they went to areas where their neighbours were also working households and not remain trapped in an area turning into a sink estate. Their social mobility allowed them to move to an area they wanted to live in.
            Their kids would then grow up in a very different environment and probably have access to better schools.

          • Sink estates aren’t caused by decent working people moving out they are caused by the dross moving in.

    • Additionally, councils could put some effort into seeking out the substandard housing in the private sector and deal with it, rather than turn a blind eye in many cases because it’s easier.
      Selective licensing was an abject failure in that the vast majority that stepped forward to be licensed were the decent landlords , why did it take so many years ( and the building be licensed) to deal with this case?

      https://theisleofthanetnews.com/2021/07/15/thanet-council-prosecutes-over-alleged-illegal-evictions/

    • That’s right Barry, build homes for the type of people you’ve already got in Cliftonville, to lazy to work, don’t care where they dump rubbish made Northdown Road unsafe to walk after dark, sit around the church drinking, drug taking, single parents with out of control kids, need I go on. It used to be a desirable place to live now the scum of the earth have turned it into more than a filthy dump.

  4. Kent also bears the brunt of housing migrants more than most other places, because ALL parties know it would be a vote loser in other parts of the country to distribute them more evenly.

  5. More assertive use of deportation orders would help, particularly for anti-social behaviour as well as criminal.

  6. The population of Kent is given online as around 1.5 million, so the population growth is around 1%, the last lot of full year migration figures into the UK was a bit over 1% growth in the nations size. So kent has actually increased a little less than the country as a whole. Given we’re in the popular south east and receive ( reportedly) a disproportionate number from london , the figures really don’t make sense.
    Add to that the huge amounts of building from thanet up the 299 and M2 corridor along with developments in villages such as Aylsham, it’d be reasonable to suggest that kents population has and will expand far more than estimated.
    Any discussion of growth in any given part of the country is pointless without including discussion on the levles of net migration to the uk, so long as its deemed we need such vast numbers of new citizens we’ll have to keep building. In the absence of discussion about migration and putting plans in place to deal with the numbers arriving here, it’s pointless wittering on about overdevelopment. Of course all these wonderful hardworking individuals arriving here will be an instant boost to our economy and the sunlit grasslands are in sight.

    • The figures are even more confusing , when in part of the article there’s reference to Kent and Medway but thrust of the article seems to talk just about, when you add on Medways approx 300k residents the figures change yet again and are pretty similar to the nations overall change.

  7. As always the usual crew of the self righteous are using their digits on the warrior keyboards.
    OK, Angela Rayner did something that is lawful, encouraged and introduced by past Tory administrations,and is not yet against Labour party policy.Of course she is a woman, northern and outspoken, so an open target for mysogny.
    She may not speak on banning social housing sales, but there is no reason for Barry Lewis not to comment.
    What about leasehold reform and reform on no fault evictions? Who is Holding up reform there? Would that be some Tory bank benchers/landlords?
    The Pink Checksfield is blaming migrants and he would be correct if he were refering to internal migrants.
    We can have more housing and meet those Govt targets with good quality builds, good design,and intensification that delivers more house per hectare, as well as more room space.
    At the moment we have poor build quality, urban sprawl, ugly, bland, designs, and miniscule room space all at a premium,to satisfy shareholder value.
    The government is bang to rights in not reining in the big 11 housebuilders,and it’s not brown envelopes ,it’s political donations, where the corruption lays.

    • Here we go, the self-righteous Iron Boy, moaning that the far less self-righteous than he is are self-righteous.

      If you have all the answers, why aren’t YOU standing for election? Or are you like one of these ranting taxi drivers, “If I was running the country…”?

    • Barry can have any opinion he likes, just as others can point out flaws in his argument that they feel exist.

      Until the reform of social housing tenancies, they were lifetime with the right of succession, so how many of the homes sold had they remained in council control would be helping those on the social housing list today? They’d most likely still have the same tenants.
      The criticism of Rayner is more about the conflict between political beliefs and actions , plus the questions over her / her husbands place of residence for parts of the ownership. But given that very few people look a gifthorse in the mouth, why would anyone expect her to have done any different so long as it was legal.
      Reform of Sec21 is held up because there is no meaningful change being put in place within the legislative and court systems to give a sensible legal route to deal with cases of non pyment of rent and antisocial behaviour.
      In the absence of doing so many more landlords will sell up and pressure of local authorities will just exponentially increase. Much more good would be done for tenants and society as a whole if the efforts were put into dealing with the criminal landlords and dodgy tenants. ( there’s currently a property in cliftonville that has been rented by an individual, who has then moved in upto 19 others on a revolving hot bed basis, landlord is going throughthe courts but timescales are huge, council won’t help beyond suggesting he gets a fire risk assessment and a closure order through the fire service, such a case should have accelerated proceedings purely on the basis of the hazards presented to those in the property and neighbours).
      No doubt there is some (moral) abuse of Sec21, but to label them all as “no fault evictions “ is disengenuous , where is the research and breakdown of the figures?
      The nations problem is that we don’t earn enough , for the standard of living we seem to feel everyone should have. Filling low paid jobs with workers from abroad only compounds the problem. Decades of insufficient building along with huge amounts of inward migration, has led us to where we are today, declining per capita productivity has meant the wealth isn’t there for the housing and associated services. Taxes keep ratcheting ever upward, social care levies on council tax, huge increases in standing charges to cover failed suppliers and to cover the bills of those that don’t pay, increased water bills for same reason, all add to the overall tax burden.
      Many older people would like to downsize but the costs to do so are obscene and in many cases make it a pointless exercise ( if nothing else the gov, could waive sdlt and vat on the transactions and services).
      As for the housebuilders, they build to meet demand for what they can sell, build to meet building regs ( well try to , quality often not the best) , small homes with tiny windows are easier to get to a decent EPC rating ( in itself utterly pointless if residents don’t use the home in a manner to get the best out of it).
      Funding of political parties has been a dubious murky business for many years for all parties, in reality funding by the state and no other source is the only way to do away with the lobbying , grace and favour.
      The country is going to hit the buffers financially sooner or later, neither tory or labour will avoid it ( no other party is worth considering) both know it, but neither will acknowledge the fact as it’s easier to sally forth blindly and so avoid the hard yards.

  8. Mr. Nokes- sorry to go off-topic, but could you please tell me what “Iron Boy” means”?

    Thank you.

    Apropos new housing, why don’t housing developers build more terraces? That would waste less land.

    • You are correct , terraced house allow greater housing density and makes them easier to meet energy efficiency standards. However it also means less outside space and more cramped developments, which in general people don’t want. In the past a small terrace house was seen as the first step on the housing ladder and people soon moved on, however these days the cost moving is so high that for anyone that can afford to buy onto the next rung it makes more sense to do so and so have a home that would be suitable in which to raise a family.
      Additionally there is a much greater number of single person households, for whom the cheapest provision these days are flats, which putside of the big cities are generally low rise blocks. That might well change with all the legislative responsibility in managing a multi home block and the associated costs, which has led to a considerable backlash to the leasehold system, which rather ignores the fact that the buildings management still needs to be done and as such the a olishing of leasehold is not the greenfield many believe.

    • Iron boy refers to the tripartite education system where golden children go to Grammar School, Silver children go to technical school (Kent did not build many of them) and Iron children go to Secondary Moderns.I was an Iron Child.God knows where the Pink witch finder general, went to school. Wherever it was, it failed miserably to educate and civilise him/her, as Pink has all the warm empathy of an XL bully dog.

        • I’d never heard of it either until Nokes banged on about (in between banging on about just about anything and everything else).

          • Mr Nokes has just identified himself as a very bitter old man with too much time on his hands. For his information, I came from a very poor background in Medway but managed to pass eleven plus in early 60’s. This allowed me to go to a Grammar School via my own merits and receive an excellent education. However, no university due to lack of family funds. Am I bitter, no. I am however, very grateful.

      • I’d never heard of that either , but i grew up in hertfordshire so maybe it is a Kentish thing. However in my primary school you just walked in one day and the 11 plus was waiting for you, no one i knew even talked about it . I passed. The local grammar school had an entry policy where the school governors pcked 2/3rds and the council picked the other 1/3rd, as i came from the wrong end of town and went to one of the less desirable primaries i received one of your “golden tickets”. Excellent school , a head who was there 34 years and taught everyone maths in their first year two lessons a week and taught the S level maths class. Knew every pupils name through out their time there. Of course all that escaped me until many years after i’d left and eventually appreciated the schooling i’d received.
        One of only 2 in my year that didn’t go to uni ( no one in my family ever had ),i had the grades but it had never been on my radar, but undoubtedly a huge bemefit to me compared to the education i’d have received in the pther local schools.
        So not surprisingly i’m in favour of the grammar school system/ selective education.

  9. We need pre-fabs. They were cheap, durable, and great to live in (my parents lived on one when I was born, and as they couldn’t afford a cot I slept in drawer!).

    • The modern prefab sector isn’t doing as well as hoped, the development in Poorhole lane had lots of problems and several manufacturers of modular homes ( modern day parlance for prefab) have failed, mo idea why as on paper it should provide a solution to volume building and good quality control

    • I agree re. prefabs. Would like to see modern, easy to build, easy to maintain eco-prefabs with green space around them. Smaller homes suit many especially if stylish, comfortable, relatively cheap to heat etc. and in an agreeable location. Such places do exist but are the exception – generally the ‘Barratt Home’ rules supreme.

      • Again it’s much to do with public perception, seemingly very few owner occupiers want to buy modular homes ( as yet) the developments to date have often been for the so ial housing providers and corporate “build to rent” both of whom like to pretend there’s home ownership in their business model with the notion of part part buy ( which has every chance of being a future scandal in the making)

    • My god! That’s two of your postings where I agree.Perhaps dropping you into a tank full of alligators did some good.
      You actually said something that was not daft, sarcastic, unpleasant,and anti women or migrants.It won’t last of course because you cannot help yourself.

  10. Here’s what we do:
    1. Acquire land for the public good.
    2. Put in the infrastructure.
    3. Install mobile homes or container homes as a speedy way of providing housing.
    4. Replace temporary housing with factory built prefabricated housing.
    5. Refurbish mobile homes and make ready for redeployment.
    6. Repeat elsewhere.

  11. Yes, stop building houses in Thanet. It looks AWFUL here now. Not as beautiful and country-like as it was a few years ago. Such a disgrace. Shame on you TDC for allowing it. Get Labour out.

    • I arrived in the late 80’s, the place is in many ways totally unrecognisable these days, but then if i return to my home town that’s totally changed too. Thanet has just arrived late to the party , being on the pimple of nowhere it just wasn’t attractive until all the easy pickings between here and london had been taken.
      Plus the big landowners are just too happy to take the cream by selling the land they have. It won’t stop, 30 years from now it’ll be fully developed from Cliffsend to Minnis Bay , in an arc out to the minster roundabout , then there’ll be dvelopment on the coast side of the thanet way right upto Brenley Corner , after that it’ll encroach on the other side.
      Just look at the UK’s projected population, work on 3 people per home and put 60% of them south of Luton.
      If you want peace and quiet and a rural lifestyle , you’ll need to move. You can’t escape the basic maths of it all.

  12. I must be missing the self righteousness in Mr Nokes’ comments. They seem sensible and well argued to me. Poor Ms Pinkie. No wonder she’s so snarky now. No crib for a bed, she had to sleep in a drawer on a prefab as an infant. Not even in the prefab, but on it, the roof being sublet to her parents, presumably. And we had proper winters in them days, not like in these global warming times. Not only is the climate much kinder for sleeping outdoors in a shop doorway these days, but it’s a lifestyle choice anyway, according to Suella. Cardboard box? Luxury. I had to sleep in a drawer on a prefab roof through the winter of ’63, and I were only a baby..

      • Oh wow, using food banks to insult someone… the lows Anne Marie Le Pink is willing to go to see if she gets a job with Reform Party ltd dont seem to have an end…

  13. The answer is not declare whi is and who isnt welcome to live in Thanet, the more people, the more money, the more the area thrives. What matters is proper infrastructure and investment to dealnwith this, not finger pointing and saying you arent welcome to live here.

  14. Oh dear, is Pinkie being fattist now? No of course not, she can’t be fattist because her childhood best friend was probably BMI challenged, or she lost overweight family members during the war while they were employed as barrage balloons. Waddling down to the food bank? I think they go on their taxpayer funded motabilty scooters these days, Pinkie. And they’re quite welcome to my tax contribution, for I’d rather they had my cash to get some free pies than it went to fly our PM Sushi Rinak around the country to visit millionaire donors to the tory party quoted as suggesting certain female labour MPs should be shot. One already had of course, but there are plenty more.. Anyway. I’m interested in the real poverty of Ms Pink’s upbringing. Can’t you get Checkers to ghost write your rags to riches autobiography, Pinkie? Make a nice change for him, and he must be running out of 60s beat groups’ recording sessions to catalogue, or local railings to photograph nuddy ladies draped around.

    • Look out for “Manchester’s Wildest Rock Band!: The Freddie and The Dreamers Story”. In a book store near you soon!

  15. Great idea getagrip. Here’s an an opening Checkers can have for free. “My first memory was watching my dad walking off through the snow in the blizzard of December ’62, to start his night shift at the vinyl factory, a vital industry in those hard times, when 45s were in such demand to keep up the nation’s spirits. It was too cold to look for long, from my underwear drawer on the prefab roof, so I withdrew into the warmth and comfort of my mother’s spare pointy 50s bra. I was 12 at the time, but to be honest, the previous 11 years on the roof have been expunged from my memory..Dad was employed making the holes in the vinyl, but he was boss eyed following an unfortunate incident during the war, and the records never played properly. It was only following the release of Telstar by the Tornadoes, when the off centre hole actually aided the recording, that my father received a pay rise and we could move down from the roof”. I suggest “Great Balls of Ire” as a title, reflecting Checkers’ love of Gerry Lee Lewis, and Ms Pink’s hatred of all that’s arty and wokey, perhaps?

      • Ageist comment?!? Oh dear, Anne Marie Le Pink is going for the trifecta today, holding racist, ageist, and fattist beliefs.

        Soon she’ll ask for signs at public places with ‘No dogs, no old, no fatties allowed in’

Comments are closed.