'Dead On Arrival': Tory MP Savages Michael Gove's Housing Plans

Anthony Browne said Cambridge did not have enough water to supply thousands of new homes.
Michael Gove's plans for new homes in Cambridge have been torn apart.
Michael Gove's plans for new homes in Cambridge have been torn apart.
Yui Mok - PA Images via Getty Images

A Tory MP has savaged his own party’s plans to build thousands of new homes in Cambridge.

Anthony Browne said the area did not have enough water to supply the properties and declared the project was “dead on arrival”.

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove today announced that the government was taking steps to unblock plans for a new “urban quarter” in the city, which would see 50,000 new homes built by 2050.

But Browne, the MP for South Cambridgeshire, took to Twitter to condemn the proposals.

He said: “There is one major problem: we have run out of water.

“For the first time ever, the Environment Agency is systematically blocking all major new development around Cambridge because there is no water for them. We are the driest part of the country with the highest population growth.”

Browne said he was backing plans for two new reservoirs in the area, but that they would take 20 years to build.

He added: “There is not enough water for existing housing; there is not enough for the major expansion of housing already planned; and there is not enough for any govt plans for a new quarter.

“As I say, unless the Govt can say where the water will come from, it’s plans are dead on arrival.”

But Rishi Sunak dismissed the MP’s concerns, saying: “No one is doing mass house building in Cambridge, this is about adding a new urban quarter to Cambridge, which is something that local communities have spoken about. And of course that will be done in dialogue with local communities.”

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “We will be working in collaboration with the community to develop a plan for the project as a priority.”

He said millions of pounds would be spent tackling water scarcity problems in the area.

“This is a plan that is supported by a number of groups, not least local businesses,” the spokesman added.


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