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Sir,

In the last few weeks the people of Erewash have had to listen to the failure of the traditional two parties of Labour and Conservatives on how to resolve the shortage of housing in Erewash due to both parties failure at national level to control immigration over the past 15 years.

Now we find we have to make room and both parties fail to look beyond short-term politics that will lead to our green fields being lost forever.

Conservatives will build on green fields in Labour-held seats and Labour respond by finding alternative green fields in Tory-held seats.

At UKIP we believe there is an alternative and without the resources of the big two parties have already found alternative sites to go a long way in stopping our green fields being lost forever.

In Erewash, we find a borough with hundreds of small shops, petrol stations, pubs, factories and industrial units in residential areas (not industrial estates) lying empty year after year.

We have to be realistic. These have been lying empty and the reality is they will likely never be used again. We need to start with the encouragement of property developers to develop these sites first. So far we have identified the possibility of over 1,000 houses that could be developed this way and with the resources could identify a lot more (you only have to look at Little Hallams Lane where a site with 18 houses has been rejected.) These developments will still leave plenty of industrial land/units in the industrial estates available for the creation of jobs.

By developing these sites first we will help save some green fields for the long-term future.

We also have other alternatives. Have the council ever spoken with developers about the option of building on council car parks with flats above them at the same time as keeping the car parking space? Even multi-storey car parks, it works in Beeston.

The choice and options are out there. The loss of green fields must not be allowed to happen. So please Erewash Borough Council show us you have the ability to think beyond the box and put your voters’ futures first

Giles Farrand

Vice-chairman

UKIP Mid Derbyshire