Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst backs Medway Council over housing targets

Conservative MP Kelly Tolhurst has backed her local council over the government in the row over new housebuilding targets.

The Rochester and Strood MP said that she, as well as fellow Medway Tory MPs Tracey Crouch and Rehman Chisthi, had written to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid in protest against the numbers.

Medway Council was already supposed to build over 29,000 homes by 2035 before a new government formula landed it with an extra 8000 homes to build by the same year.

Last week a meeting of its cabinet saw members attack the government’s new targets as “deluded”, “diabolical” and evidence that it was “living in cloud cuckoo land”.

One of the cabinet’s recommendations was to ask the three Medway MPs to meet with the government and put the council’s point across to them.

Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst

Mrs Tolhurst said: “I am in full agreement with (Council Leader) Alan Jarrett that our revised targets are unrealistic and unsustainable.

“Even before the revision we were required to build almost 30,000 homes in 15 years without the necessary infrastructure investment to support it.

“A revision of the formula is certainly needed, as well as a real addressing of the disproportionate numbers Medway and Kent have been given compared to the rest of the country.”