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House Price Crash Forum

Single Pensioners In Shropshire Are Losing Out In The Housing Market!

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In the last decade, the number of people living alone in the UK has increased at an alarming rate. Town planning has not adjusted to keep pace with trends. Although National guidelines have in many instances provided the necessary policy statements to encourage forward thinking and provision of suitable housing at a local level, often at the local level the advice and policy is ignored.

Who’s suffering, and why National guidelines being ignored is unclear, for National Policy to work it has to be implemented by local politicians at the local planning committee level. Its democracy gone mad, National Government defines policy, Local Government ignores the policy.

Is it really such a good idea to bring in even more decentralisation if it’s going to mean an increase and disparity in the level of services and quality of life for the population depending on what area of the country you live in?

You could ask, is this down to interpretation of the English language, with the ambiguity that can be found in the way phrases are constructed. This is very often the case with legal interpretations of the law as anyone having had to use the services of a solicitor knows full well.

Developing good practice in Town planning is about providing choice in the housing market, in order to provide a balanced community, of mixed diversity. Without it, large sectors of demographic needs are left untouched and ill provided for. Is this sustainable, fair or a deliberate prejudice towards low income single pensioners?

Choice is missing, certainly from a local perspective for the communities in Shropshire particularly, in the North of the county where the situation is reaching a dire near catastrophe. The Market Towns of Oswestry, Wem, Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Market Drayton, have not supplied housing suitable for a balanced and mixed community of sustainable housing aimed at independent retired people for decades. I know this does not stop at Shropshire and is the case all over England and Wales.

Local net income / house prices;

Shropshire though has two indicators that highlight this ambiguity clearly to evaluate its effects. To assess the local economy and its general affordability for its local inhabitants, particularly retired single people, consider the local average net income against local average house price. Affordability can be measured in terms of the ratio between the two figures.

Shropshire is in the BOTTOM ten percent of counties in terms of net income per household, and yet house prices in Shropshire are considered to be in the TOP ten percent in the UK. (These figures can be confirmed at the UK National Statistics office or web link: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/default.asp )

When comparing these two figures, Shropshire is stated as being an area designated as not affordable to live in for an increasing number of the local population. Housing specifically is determined as not affordable by an increasing level of demographic groups.

We need housing of a much wider diversity than has currently been provided, proposed and allowed under the current planning system. Retired Single People, living in large houses that are too big for their needs, need the availability of CHOICE to be able to downsize to more sustainable housing designed to accommodate single people. This will also enable them to release sensibly money they have currently tied up in large houses which will inevitably become increasingly unmanageable to them as they increase in age.

Isn’t it desirable for this Country to provide an opportunity for all of its inhabitants to live sustainably and enjoy freedom of CHOICE without fear of losing their home or ability to have independence?

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