SOME topics stimulate a greater emotive and emotional response from our residents than others. 
Housing is certainly one such topic.
How many houses are built? Where are they built? What type of housing is built? 
And of course, how much infrastructure, or lack thereof, is there to support new housing? 
All are questions that spark ferocious debate.
Right now, Test Valley Borough Council is in the process of running its public consultation on its draft Local Plan 2040. 
This plan, once finalised, will deliver housing and development for the Borough over the next two decades; the council is asking residents for their views.
These public consultations matter a great deal. 
You may have read that some Test Valley Borough councillors were not happy with the way the current Local Plan was drafted (Hampshire Chronicle, January 21).
During January’s full council meeting, concerns were raised that councillors did not feel they were consulted enough or given enough opportunity to input in to the draft plan before it was sent out for public consultation. 
The allocated housing and employment sites are thus planning officer recommendations.
It is thus vitally important that residents engage with the public consultation and ensure that their voices are heard by Test Valley Borough Council.
We have a housing crisis in this country. 
Anyone who has tried to get on the housing ladder in the last decade or so knows how the lack of supply is pushing up prices. 
Lack of home ownership amongst young people and those from lower social economic groups is one of the biggest drivers of our society’s wealth divide. 
The state of social housing and lack of decent and truly affordable homes only serves to add to the crisis.
It is clear that we must build more housing, especially affordable housing. 
However, this is the chance for the whole community to have their say on exactly those questions I started with.
I urge everyone reading this to please engage with the process.
Should there be more housing in our towns? 
Do the villages require more affordable homes for first-time buyers, key workers and those wishing to downsize? 
Are there enough schools and GP surgeries to support development?
Can the utility companies provide a reliable service? 
If you have an opinion on these or any other questions, please get involved before the consultation closes at noon on Tuesday,  April 2.
A full list of public events and how to have your say can be found on the Test Valley Borough Council website: