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RichM

Call Me A Nimby, But It's Madness To Concrete Vast Tracts Of Countryside

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1811934,00.html

I actually think he could be right in some ways, though not for the reasons he thinks. Before long there might be millions begging for there not to be more housing built. And you have to wonder at the wisdom behind having even more centralised planning.

Great article RichM.

History of rural / urban Britain:

until 1700s -- majority of people live in countryside, engaged mostly in agriculture, other primary industry and cottage industries.

late 1700s -- industrial revolution. Britain leads the world in pioneering manufacturing progress. Poorest rural people migrate to cities.

1800s and early 1900s -- Large rural landowners consolidate holdings and force tenants and labourers off the land. Huge demand for labour from factories, mills, mines etc. so the poor and landless migrate there.

Cities grow. The majority of the population becomes involved in secondary industries (manufacturing etc.) which demands that they live in cities, so that they can do their jobs. Commuting is not an option as transport options are limited.

1940s. Beginning of planning system. Development in the countryside starts to be restricted. At this point there is not a problem since demand for rural dwellings is low.

Late 1900s

City dwellers form the vast majority of the British population. Only a small fraction live in the country side and a tiny proportion work in agriculture, mostly in large agri-businesses.

1980s to present day.

British secondary industry is in decline. Most city dwellers now work in tertiary industry (service sector). For this reason, and with better transport and communications infrastructure, there is no longer such a strong requirement for most people to live in cities.

Demand for rural dwellings is growing again. Pressure builds to allow more rural development....

----

Point is, the British people once lived all dotted around the countryside, then moved to the cities in order to advance the industrial revolution. Now that phase of progress is over, city dwellers would simply like to move back.

----

frugalista

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I loved one of the reader's comments posted on the Guardian's web site:

The desire to build everywhere over everything is just one aspect of capitalism's cancerous insatiability. What matters here is not house prices, gardens etc but the necessity for capitalism to keep growing, or die. The only other entity that aspires to relentless growth forever is cancer. And like cancer, capitalism must eventually kill its host.

Only in the Guardian. Bless his little cotton socks.

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Max Hastings just wants to look after himself and screw anyone else how hasn't got a house yet.

If he's that concerned why doesn't bulldoze down his own country house and return it to it's 'natural' state for growing subsidised corn that we don't need.

A winning retort was written by Charles Moore in Saturday's Telegraph:

Battlelines are drawn

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I get mad when people say things like "Concrete over the countryside". I makes it sound like someone is going to flatten a forest and build a carpark over it.

In reality they are going to build much needed housing.

Planning regulations mean that it will be in a style that compliments the countryside. I've never seen a concrete house!

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I get mad when people say things like "Concrete over the countryside". I makes it sound like someone is going to flatten a forest and build a carpark over it.

In reality they are going to build much needed housing.

Planning regulations mean that it will be in a style that compliments the countryside. I've never seen a concrete house!

In parts of cheshire the park and ride stretches for miles.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1811934,00.html

I actually think he could be right in some ways, though not for the reasons he thinks. Before long there might be millions begging for there not to be more housing built. And you have to wonder at the wisdom behind having even more centralised planning.

Richard, have you been reading the Guardian? :o

I hope you washed your hands afterwards!

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1811934,00.html

I actually think he could be right in some ways, though not for the reasons he thinks. Before long there might be millions begging for there not to be more housing built. And you have to wonder at the wisdom behind having even more centralised planning.

I agree there is no need to waste acres of green on crappy new houses.

There isnt a shortage of housing in this country - the homeless figures are negliable. The issue is with who is buying it all though, what with Second homes and newly springing up BTL empires there is a shortage of properties for the young to buy. Also anyone been in Edinburgh recently and seen hundreds of boarded up flats in the Craigmiller area? - ok I wouldnt want to live there as I value my car tyres but even in Edinburgh where prices are mental there are hundreds of homes lying empty.

Where is the shortage?

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I agree there is no need to waste acres of green on crappy new houses.

There isnt a shortage of housing in this country

Where is the shortage?

There is a shortage of houses which people want to live in.

Great background to this article: Planning reform (from Adam Smith Institute). Well worth reading - you will not regret the time.

http://www.adamsmith.org/images/uploads/pu...landeconomy.pdf

Argues that it is the outdated planning laws in this country which is to blame for high house prices.

tc

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I agree there is no need to waste acres of green on crappy new houses.

There isnt a shortage of housing in this country

Where is the shortage?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jh...7/01/do0102.xml

Our house prices over the past 30 years have risen by 3.9 per cent per year above the rate of inflation: in Switzerland and Germany, they have remained static. Another way of putting this is that people have to pay more for less.

The chief reason for this is that it is very hard to build new houses. Planning law gives enormous power to the public authorities. They combine the horror (John Prescott) of imposing centrally determined, much-too-large blocks of development in a few places with much too strict micro-control of building everywhere, particularly anywhere that can be described as "green".

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I agree there is no need to waste acres of green on crappy new houses.

There isnt a shortage of housing in this country - the homeless figures are negliable. The issue is with who is buying it all though, what with Second homes and newly springing up BTL empires there is a shortage of properties for the young to buy. Also anyone been in Edinburgh recently and seen hundreds of boarded up flats in the Craigmiller area? - ok I wouldnt want to live there as I value my car tyres but even in Edinburgh where prices are mental there are hundreds of homes lying empty.

Where is the shortage?

I'm with you on this one lulu. The market town I grew up in has nearly doubled in size in the last fifteen years. It is a similar story in other places I know... yet, the population of this country has barely changed?

Obviously there are demographic and sociological changes that have increased the demand on rural and semi-rural housing - an ageing population, homeworking, telecommuting, more single households, second homes etc.

Some recent government policy has been designed to encourage more urban living. It's clearly not working though, as most of the new developments are hideously overpriced balsa wood flats in areas with few amenities.

I'm currently housesitting in a lovely 3 bedroom terrace which is normally occupied by a young family, and the kind of place I would be happy to do the same. This is in London, zone 2. However, many of the houses on the road have been converted into flats or HMOs and let out to social tenants, immigrants or students. I don't have a massive problem with this per se (although it does reduce those residents' stake in keeping the area tidy) but it is reducing the stock of perfectly servicable family housing within London.

It is trends like that that need to be reversed, and it seems the only way that can happen is through HPC and its attendant phenomena. I doubt that this government would be either willing or able to step in and do anything about it.

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I agree there is no need to waste acres of green on crappy new houses.

There isnt a shortage of housing in this country - the homeless figures are negliable. The issue is with who is buying it all though, what with Second homes and newly springing up BTL empires there is a shortage of properties for the young to buy. Also anyone been in Edinburgh recently and seen hundreds of boarded up flats in the Craigmiller area? - ok I wouldnt want to live there as I value my car tyres but even in Edinburgh where prices are mental there are hundreds of homes lying empty.

Where is the shortage?

There is a big shortage masked by people still having to share with 2/3/4 other people into their 30's, others having to live at home with parents until a similar age.

I still don't understand how the number of people per house is falling. If there are 500,000+ extra immigrants arriving a year and we are building 100,000 (houses a year or whatever the number is) doesn't that mean that the number of people per house should be rising. Of course it could be that many houses are getting divided into smaller dwellings and then counted as seperate properties. It would be interesting to see the average floor space per person I bet that is getting smaller and smaller and would be the best measure of how many more houses are needed.

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Richard, have you been reading the Guardian? :o

I hope you washed your hands afterwards!

The television reviews are good ;)

There is a big shortage masked by people still having to share with 2/3/4 other people into their 30's, others having to live at home with parents until a similar age.

I still don't understand how the number of people per house is falling. If there are 500,000+ extra immigrants arriving a year and we are building 100,000 (houses a year or whatever the number is) doesn't that mean that the number of people per house should be rising. Of course it could be that many houses are getting divided into smaller dwellings and then counted as seperate properties. It would be interesting to see the average floor space per person I bet that is getting smaller and smaller and would be the best measure of how many more houses are needed.

It could be that there's so many boomers in 4 bed houses with no children at home anymore. That's the situation with my parents, and all my friends' parents.

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Surely the value of the planning authorities is plain for everyone to see? Look at all the ugly villages and market towns that are hundreds of years old that spoil the countryside.

Then compare them with the wonderful, modern estates that have been built in the last 50 years. A 30' back garden is way more than most people need and being able to see directly into 7 or 8 of your neighbour's homes means everyone can make sure there is nothing untoward going on. How could you murder your wife privately knowing any one of 8 neighbours might be watching?

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I loved one of the reader's comments posted on the Guardian's web site:

Only in the Guardian. Bless his little cotton socks.

I agree with the Guardian readers comments.

For me preservation of this tiny spec in Space that has all the magic ingredients for life is far more important than the need to cover yet more of it in concrete. Weve only been here in the UK a few thousand years, only an arrogant species would seek to further its own ends without regard for other specieis and spaces.

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I agree with the Guardian readers comments.

For me preservation of this tiny spec in Space that has all the magic ingredients for life is far more important than the need to cover yet more of it in concrete. Weve only been here in the UK a few thousand years, only an arrogant species would seek to further its own ends without regard for other specieis and spaces.

I think the dinosaurs thought they had pretty much cracked it too. Funny how things turn out eh? :blink:

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You cannot have an unlimited immigration policy and a fast rising population, then complain that houses need to be built.

Perhaps we should build high rise flats in quality inner city areas. These could be privately bought and then rented to young executives at an early stage in their life to provide decent affordable homes close to work / nightlife in a funky urban lifestyle type of thing.

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Perhaps we should build high rise flats in quality inner city areas. These could be privately bought and then rented to young executives at an early stage in their life to provide decent affordable homes close to work / nightlife in a funky urban lifestyle type of thing.

closer to the mark than you would like to admit steve.

...all the 1 bed newbulds on green belt just f*** up old floodplains and make them bigger,meaning more people get flooded out!!!

...building up is the only solution if you want to increase population in this island.

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Max Hastings wrote...

In reality, British spending on housing as a proportion of total household consumption is around the mid-mark for Europe, and well below that of Sweden, Germany and France.

This can't be true, surely?

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Max Hastings wrote...

This can't be true, surely?

Could well be true. Lots of people bought when prices were cheaper and with fears of interest rate rises. They are paying relatively low amounts each month, benefitting from the current interest rates.

Edited by a j

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It's ok, the birthrate has now dropped to 1.2 because the new generation can't afford family houses, so the population will drop, and the countryside will be saved. Hurrah! :)

(shame there won't be anyone here to see the lovely fields of high yield crops :ph34r: )

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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