Sunday, 14 July 2013

Each year, an area of countryside the size of Southampton is "randomly despoiled" by covering it with concrete according to Nick

"Today, simply relaxing planning controls wouldn't just see creeping suburbia: it would allow random development on any countryside that someone would sell".

“Giving a cowardly wink to developers won't build the houses we need. They are already sitting on 400,000 unused planning permissions, yet they choose to "land bank" to build their balance sheets rather than new homes. It's the economy, stupid, that will determine when the construction firms actually construct".

Nick Herbert, minister of state for policing and criminal justice and Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, takes to the pages of the G, and in passing repeats the allegations about land-banking that the industry is always at pains to try and dispel; to point out that Letting developers vandalise the countryside won't solve the housing crisis

"There are enough brownfield sites for 1.5m homes, yet speculative developers are being encouraged to submit applications on open countryside regardless of emerging local plans, which carry little or no weight. Communities that have put hours of work into their plans have watched them torn up by random development, licensed by government inspectors".

So one minute Housebuilders aren't building new homes "because of the state of the economy" - presumably they think no one can afford them, hence Nick's fellow Minister Mark's splendid schemes to help would be buyers out; and the next they are throwing them up all over the countryside whilst planning inspectors pretend not to notice ...

"Today, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, dismayed by the random despoliation of precious landscape, launches a Save Our Countryside charter. Its president, the poet Sir Andrew Motion, calls for the defence of "our great inheritance". A laureate before him, Wordsworth, asked: "Is then no nook of English ground secure from rash assault?" The answer, if the goal of winning the global race will licence any expediency, is no."

Update : the Mail is running with :Rural charter will challenge developers to stop the Government 'destroying the English countryside'

"Since 1989, an average of 26 square miles of undeveloped land – an area larger than Southampton – has been lost to building projects every year".

9 comments:

The Stigler said...

As authentic Faux Bucolic Rural Idyll dweller gibberish goes, that's pretty much gold standard.

If I tried to write a parody, I couldn't get much better than quoting a poet attacking development from a time before the era of trains and before we eradicated cholera.

Lola said...

OI! I am one of those...Bucolic Rural Idyll dweller...

Mark Wadsworth said...

I love the idea of land being "lost" to development, what, does it just disappear off the map, never to be seen again?

Morgan Charles said...

Mark, that's because in most people's minds, "land" = "farmland".
I notice that once again, no-one is asking whether we actually need lots more housing. I suppose it's because those who actually are in need of somewhere to live, as opposed to those who want somewhere to own, are mainly the undeserving poor, whom everybody loves to hate. Much better to try and garner support by waffling on about "disappearing land".
When interest rates rise and land prices fall, all this sort of thing will disappear anyway.

Kj said...

Lola: me too. We're ok. It's when lots of people get to live in a place it's called "developed" and is evil, no matter how much land each of us FBRI dwellers take up.

James Higham said...

You can build new homes without covering the land in asphalt and concrete. Has been done before in better areas. ;-)

Mark Wadsworth said...

More importantly, if you look at new housing estates on the edge of town, two-thirds of it is gardens, one-sixth is actual buildings and one-sixth is roads (or something like that).

So what they are really complaining about is "land being lost to back gardens".

Morgan Charles said...

"So what they are really complaining about is "land being lost to back gardens".

What's more, the biodiversity of a hundred acres of back gardens is several orders of magnitude greater than the biodiversity of a hundred acre field of crops or grass.

Mark Wadsworth said...

MC, yes, that is almost certainly true. That's why bees have survived relatively well in London and other large conurbations.