‘Kimberley needs social housing’

NEAALC100721C2 - Hardy and Hansons Kimberley
NEAALC100721C2 - Hardy and Hansons Kimberley

A KIMBERLEY resident has hit back at claims that social housing on the town’s brewery site would turn it into a ‘mini ghetto’.

Jeff Surgay, an ex-council house tenant, said comments made by a campaign group ‘hit him under the ribs’ and claimed there was a huge demand for social housing.

“Social housing is massively important,” he said.

“There’s a desperate shortage of social housing. The demand for it exceeds the supply, so why shouldn’t we have it?

“They are not imposing on the greenbelt land so why shouldn’t we have it? People need a roof over their head.”

The chairman of the Save Our Brewery Site, Darren Warner, said in last week’s Advertiser that he felt an a housing estate of affordable homes would be a bad move for the brewery, and would eventually be the ‘destruction of the town’.

But Mr Surgay, of Coatsby Road, said he felt the brewery site could be an ideal location for the plans and described Mr Warner’s words as ‘grossly unfair’.

“I think saying it would be the ‘destruction’ of the town was a bit strong,” he said.

“What does he think the tenants are like?

“I felt he assumed the houses would be filled up with people on housing benefits.”

The 63-year-old said the brewery site could make for a nice housing estate.

“It could be quite an attractive housing development because it’s a nice sloping site,” he added.

“As long as it’s not pokey little places where the landlord is trying to maximise the income.”

We reported in last week’s Advertiser that the owner of the brewery site Rafiq Vindhani has teamed up with Barteak – a company that specialises in social housing.

The chairman of the Save Our Brewery Site (SOBS) group Darren Warner said he feared Mr Vindhani would ‘drop a bombshell’ about building 500 affordable homes, and said such a plan would turn the site into a ‘mini ghetto’.

Mr Vindhani said no plans were yet definite and he was looking into a mixture of development and commercial ideas for the site.