There is much excitement in my village at the moment about a a proposed housing development. There are meetings planned in the pub, petitions, views being canvassed and talk of little else.
My village is quite small with only 220 houses. In the 20 years I have lived here we have had three small housing developments, two for beautiful big smart homes and one for affordable housing intended for those with a local connection. All the developments were opposed but all went ahead regardless. The big smart houses were sold off plan and the affordable houses, which it was deemed there was a desperate need for, struggle to be filled by locals.
The new development had three proposals. The first is for 9 huge detached properties that will have a price tag of over £1m. We already have a huge number of such properties. The second proposal is for a mix of houses and the third is for 23 affordable homes. Affordable doesn’t mean “ones which people can afford” anymore, by the way, it means rental accommodation run by housing associations. There is no middle ground of houses that people can afford to buy (the lowest price of a house in this village is about £350k).
Personally I think the site of the new development is ideal. It is adjacent to the settlement policy boundary and fills a gap between the village and a family run haulage yard. It is about 200 yards from my own house and the increased traffic and noise will have some impact on me. Admittedly, I would be less relaxed if it was right next door, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen.
Here is my point: People will breed. They want their children to have all the lovely things they have, including a nice home in an idyllic village. However, how do they expect this to happen if they are not prepared to increase the size of the village? Their two, three and maybe four children will all leave home and need somewhere to live, and they won’t be moving themselves. If we all shout “not in my back yard” then the problem will only be moved to someone else’s equally precious backyard.
How can we continue to have children, live longer and be healthier and expect nothing to change? Our National Health Service is already in crisis because we are taking out more than we put in, and the same applies to our communities and our countryside.