30 May 2008
Housing growth and the buoyant economy in the Southeast of England are affecting the environment, according to a study.
With an average of 30,600 homes built each year since 2003, the region is reporting poor air quality and threats to biodiversity on land near sites designated for house building, says a report by the South East England Regional Assembly.
The assembly's annual monitoring report tracks how the region is performing against 41 targets covering housing, transport, the environment and the economy.
For the second year running, just 11 targets have been classified as green (showing good performance), 26 are amber and four are red (indicating under-performance).
The May 28 report says the Southeast must significantly increase the amount of electricity it generates from renewable sources and cut waste.
Although house building is expanding, the region is missing government targets.
In 2006/07, 7,100 affordable homes were built – 30% below target – and starts on new homes were slower than forecast in the first half of 2007/08.
Consequently, the Southeast needs an additional £400m from its regional funding allocation from the Housing Corporation's 2008/11 national affordable housing programme to meet its targets.