This week I had an interesting conversation on the Next Door forum which is a social media platform that’s primarily based around areas in the UK, local towns and villages.
Development of this kind is a big issue across the UK, but there are some 10000 houses planned and will create several kinds of pressure on the local infrastructure which will obviously need to be worked out.
I agree in part we need to try and preserve areas of green belt or green field spaces because as a species we need the greenery. From a mental health perspective, getting out into the open countryside is a good thing.
This parcel of land which Horsham District council wants to build on is incredibly blighted because of the traffic from Gatwick airport as is much of Crawley, indeed big chunks of the southeast are also blighted by something. And at the end of the day housing needs to go somewhere. The Parish of Ifield has been around since the Domesday Book – and has so far escaped much development and as I say, is far from pristine green fields or an SSi.
The problem we have is in several areas.
No one wants the development. Everyone wants their bit of space preserved.
Most people campaigning against the building of new homes normally own their own homes and don’t want the change. These are people that have already benefited from building on greenbelt land, indeed that’s how their houses got there.
These are the same people that were happy for their houses to be built but don’t want others to be built there. This is the same all over the country. Local opposition to development just makes development even harder.
But we have several problems.
Economic policy focuses on continued growth in the economy. This means a growing population. With the growing population there is more pressure on housing. Hence the stupid increases in house prices in the last few decades. Quite simply if you are not building enough then the price of that thing increases because of demand.
There are also the issues of business development and other economic changes which will have an affect on how much housing is needed in a particular area. Here in the southeast we have quite a lot of business therefore quite a lot of housing is needed for the people to work in those businesses.
Then we have the MPs and local politicians getting involved with the situations and either opposing or being for this kind of development. The evidence particularly with this conservative government is they say one thing nationally let’s build, let’s develop and locally they say all no that’s not a good idea.
The hypocrisy is just shocking. They want to focus on getting re-elected so will say whenever they think the local people want them to say. Few actually defend what is right.
Few actually want things progressed.
There is also the issue of tax breaks on residential property where it is currently held at an unlimited amount of tax-free growth, under the current figures (houses prices are up around 13% already in 2022) this means people are earning around £30k a year tax free on average. Without working, sure it may not be spendable at the moment. But assets increase none the less.
Which encourages people to invest as much as they can into their main residence. We also provide tax breaks for inheritance tax purposes which also encourage home ownership. All of this locks money away inside an economy and further affects the spending power of these who don’t own property. A level of unfairness that I have written about before.
Current government policy also allows the right to buy for council property, this discourages council’s from building social housing.
So there are a whole load of things that need to be looked at, unfortunately NIMBY’s like The Ifield Society don’t want to be concerned with any of that, all they are interested in is being able to walk their dogs on the same bit of ground they always have done, and to enjoy the views of green fields, after all they have paid taxes and deserve to have what they have paid for, just fuck everyone else.
They don’t seem to be little reasonable conversation around this development, or indeed any other development around the area which does concern me a little bit because we obviously need the housing given that house prices are now up and above 10 times salary in most areas of the country, but there is always this militant group of voters that start to demand we shouldn’t do this or we shouldn’t do that and that is fascism.
We don’t live in a society that is controlled from the top we live in a society that is managed locally for local needs by an elected local council and we should be focusing on what is best for that society. Where you live now was once green fields and your house is sat on land that once had flowers and butterflies. It now has a slab of concrete covering all of that, so it’s okay for your house to be built on Greenbelt but nobody else’s.
These houses have to go somewhere, just not there or there because [insert reason here] And everybody says the same thing nobody wants them because of…
Unfortunately that does not solve our problem. The population is growing and the future tax payers need somewhere to live. I think I can solve many of the problems by building there and there until houses are back at the same price you paid for yours. Plus a little inflation linking. I think that is the most unfacist thing we can do.
Well I have a little surprise for them, it is not going to continue because it is just not fair. Youngsters have to vote, have to make sure their voices are heard.
If you want to discuss this, please contact me via www.moneytrainers.co.uk/contact