It has been revealed that the new housing minister, Gavin Barwell, appears to be campaigning to oppose a new housing scheme in his constituency.
Over the weekend Barwell - appointed to take over from Brandon Lewis, who has been promoted to a job at the Home Office - tweeted that he was “Hugely honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Minister of State for Housing & Planning and Minister for London” adding in a subsequent tweet “Look forward to working with councils, housing associations, developers and investors to ensure we build the homes people need and deserve.”
However, the Inside Housing industry publication has spotted on Barwell’s own website what appears to be contradictory sentiments when it comes to a Persimmon scheme proposed within his own constituency of Croydon Central.
Along with a video, Barwell has written: “The green fields at the bottom of Gravel Hill between the Addington Interchange and Huntingfield/Falconwood Road are under threat again. This time it’s from housing rather than a supermarket. Developer Persimmon has added the land to its list of potential sites after decision it has a chance of getting planning permission from our Labour Council. I’ve teamed up with the local residents’ association to try to protect this precious green space.”
Meanwhile in his first full statement since being invited to be housing minister, Barwell says: “Too many people are having to live in overcrowded or even unsafe conditions. Too many people don't have a permanent place to call home. Too many people are having to pay too much of their monthly earnings on their housing costs. And - as the Prime Minister said in her moving speech outside Downing Street on Wednesday night - too many people who want the independence of owning their own home currently can't afford to do so.
"I look forward to working with councils, housing associations, developers, investors and local communities to make sure we build we need with the mix of tenures that people want and that those homes should be great places to live.”