Current Magazine

Each Year, an Area of Countryside the Size of Southampton is "randomly Despoiled" by Covering It with Concrete According to Nick

Posted on the 15 July 2013 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
"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 license 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".

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics