Saturday, November 3, 2007

Good for them ….

National Trust to block green belt desecration for new homes

The National Trust is to put itself on a collision course with the Government over Gordon Brown’s plans to start the biggest house-building programme in 30 years. The trust is exasperated because ministers and senior civil servants appear ready to develop green fields without considering the quality of life offered to local communities by the presence of open spaces. As one of Britain’s largest landowners with 700 miles of coastline and 250,000 hectares of countryside, the trust has threatened to buy up greenfield land earmarked for development to stop new housing. It is also preparing to intervene in planning inquiries and challenge new developments, even if it has no direct involvement with the land under threat.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:49 AM (2439 views)
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29 thoughts on “Good for them ….

  • good. They get my support. This place is over developed as it is

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  • Do we really want this …

    over this …

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  • I’ll join NOW, it’s about time an organisation like this stepped in to save this country from going completely down the toilet. I’d rather live cheek by jowel in appalingly badly planned and laid out towns than have nowhere on my doorstep to escape too.

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  • Not In My Back Yard

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  • dohousescrashinthewoods says:

    That is really cool – someone with enough “power” to give the government a kicking – and the will to use it for “common good” rather than for profit at the expense of people.

    Rare and very good to hear.

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  • UC,
    completely agree.

    but there is a third solution which is using former industrial or warehouse sites, and demolishing low density, run down sprawls to build higher density blocks of flats. Yes I know blocks of flats are not popular, but if England is becoming overcrowded, they are the only solution if you want to save the green belt. And you can limit the height to 4 or 5 floors and still get a much better use of the land space over detached and terraced houses.

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  • To me its not rocket science and i back the National Trust 100%, why should this Loony Goverment build homes for 10 million people and then allow the same number into the Uk by immigration its pure folly, there are enough homes and sites for the current population i would have thought the answer is relatively easy………………ITS CALLED VOTE THESE DUMBOS OUT and get a common sense goverment in. Goredon Brown as prime minister i ask you its like Voting George Bush into power

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  • I think the point to bring here to be honest is “DOES THE UK NEED MORE HOMES” or could a policy change get us by as we are?

    Ask that question honestly – we know the answer

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  • Iamconfusedagain says:

    Wow I think I will join the national trust now, good on them.

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  • Bad call Hoyo, this is all about BAD PLANNING, just think about how badly planned your local area is, Britains towns have evolved like bacteria in a culture dish and most local councils are the same. Spreading the blight that already exists is not going to solve any problems, what is needed is the redevelopment of existing Towns starting with their roads and public transport systems, they managed this in the 1930’s and a good start would be the compulsory purchase and demolition of all property causing transport bottlenecks on the periphery of our town centres. This would leave most historic towns landmark buildings intact but would remove most of the offending peripheral development.

    We need to make better use of the swathes of badly utillised space we already have. London, Manchester and Birmingham are prime examples and if the Luftwaffe had done a better job we could have sorted the planning issues out years ago with wide straight roads, pleasant workable public transport and well laid out and designed housing.

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  • Ihopeitgoeswithabang says:

    It’s about time an organization such as the National Trust stood up to them.
    Because obviously as voters we in the Uk are not capable of doing so.

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  • But the choice is not to swap ALL of picture 2 for picture 1 is it?

    Only 10% of England has been developed.

    Leaving 90% undeveloped (as beautiful as undeveloped England may be) while English families have no place to live is not a sensible option.

    People have a right to shelter and will not remain compliant for long with a system that denies them this right. Particularly, I would assert, when this human need is being denied them on the basis of providing a pretty view to those who have been more fortunate.

    This is not an option.

    So, the choice is to loose our beautiful countryside, or slow Our population growth.

    Perhaps this issue should take priority over and above that of expanding economic growth for those who wish to retain England’s beauty?

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  • planning4acrash says:

    Enuii, that did not work particularly well in historic towns like Salisbury, where hundreds of medieval houses were knocked down. If you are asking for inner ring roads, they add to congestion and creae a physical barrier to pedestrian access into the city and development of the commercial core. Birmingham’s ring road is like an iron curtain on the city, which planners are trying to get rid of at massive cost. Much better to focus on better bus and park&ride and enhancement of pedestrian/cycle and rail links. Add a little widening and you add a tiny bit of capacity, add a bus route and you add a massive increase in capacity, cars actually are a very ineficient use of space, think of a full double deck or bendy bus (100 people?) How long is the que of traffic to hold 100 people when the average number of people in a car is about 1.5.

    p.s. guys, how do you use html here to add pics and stuff?

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  • p4c – just use the html <img> tag i.e.

    <img src=”http://image_location/image_name.jpg” />

    More info at this link

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  • P4C, thats exactly why I said ‘periphery of our town centres’ and ‘this would leave historic towns landmark buildings intact’, although I failed to mention that I meant park ‘n’ ride (preferably Trams) rather than ring roads as a conduit to improved town centre facilities with cafe’s, bars and restaurants more akin to our continental cousins. Ring roads bypass town centres and should not be viewed as part of my masterplan for transforming life in 21st century England.

    Now where is my bulldozer, we will start with the BTL property as there will be less objections.

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  • Sorry,

    Enuii, you’re wrong. The smoke reched its highest population density in the 1930’s and migration was outwards throguh the West End into urbanly sprawling suburbs. Hence the reason for the Town and Country Planning Act 1947.

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  • why didnt they block the aldi distribution centre in neston cheshire, greenbelt…

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  • For something in between UC’s 2 images check out the tower blocks in Amsterdam’s Rembrandt Park. It’s a bit like a traditional British sink estate but with grass, lakes and no sink. Because it’s in a city you don’t need to get in you car for your paper and pint of milk on a Saturday morning. Which reminds me…I’ve not had breakfast yet

    Click on ‘Satellite’ (top fight)
    http://maps.google.com/?q=amsterdam+rembrandt+park

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  • Stop the absurd population growth is a better plan. Nationally we only 1.7 kids per couple so population should be declining without immigration.
    These houses will take decades to actually arrive, does anybody seriously think Labour are capable of organising this? I don’t. The houses won’t get built, and the infrastructure won’t be upgraded. Where is crossrail for example? Many of the people who will benefit from crossrail will be retired or dead by the time (if ever) that arrives.
    More nonsense. I hope the NuLabour weasels don’t at some point say, “we tried, oh we tried so hard but everybody stopped us.”.
    How about this better plan? Offer free legal support for professionals/skilled workers to emigrate to New Zealand or Australia . That would be handy and have the benefit of NuLabour giving a shed load of cash to consultants, something they can do!!!

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  • dohousescrashinthewoods says:

    Here’s something. In places like Italy or Singapore, people live in apartments. This means apartments in the true sense of the word, not the mis-described poor-quality hamster-hutch racks produced by rude and greedy developers in this country.

    A true apartment is at least as big as a 2/3 bed semi, but laid out on one floor, like a bungalow. It typically involves marble and/or hardwood floors, simple but high quality fixtures and fittings, plenty of space, floors and walls that prevent you hearing the neighbours and a clean pleasant lobby/lift/stairs area that has never been urinated in. This is middle-of-the-road, standard, lower-to-upper-middle-class quality. I kid you not.

    There are usually 2 appartments per floor, perhaps 4 if the ground area is large, but no more. In Singapore, I lived in town. There were 5 floors of shopping mall and car-park, a swiming pool on the roof and 2 towers above the remaining space. That provided a total of 8 flats per level. I have family in Sardinia and they live 2 apartments to a floor right in the town centre, above shops and coffee bars.

    There is no reason we couldn’t create thousands of decent homes, right in our cities, so that people can be spared the agony of commuting (or getting the last puke-fest train home to some awful out-of-town estate) which would:

    a) relieve the pressure on public transport,
    b) increase quality of life
    c) increase productivity (not worn out from just getting to work) and
    c) preserve our countryside.

    It’s really not rocket science. Just needs a bit of clarity, will, persistence and patience.

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  • planning4acrash says:

    Enui, you still destroy legible links between city and suburbn with ring roads, the further out, the more you cut off the city from the countryside, the futher in, the more you slice a wedge between city and suburb, bits either side of the road degenerate, and new roads just generate more traffic, so new roads are useful if you want to generate traffic to regenerate or create an area but are not a solution to too much traffic. The only ways to reduce traffic are to combine road closure and reduction in car parking spaces along with spatial planning policies to concentrate accommodation walking and public transport distance from town along with providing better and cheaper public transport. Copenhagen has been slowly investing in public transport for decades and combined it with a very slow reduction in car parking spaces which has been so slow that the public haven’t complained (call this slow process sustainable sustainability if you wish!), they close retail streets one by one and now the city has more cafe’s with outdoor seating than Sydney or Melbourne.

    A bit problem outside metropolitan areas that don’t benefit from rail, is the privatisation of buses, only London Transport has managed to really reduce prices and increase service and use, most provincial bus companies just compete on the most profitable routes with most bits not properly served. We also need a step change in rural public transport, we need more dial a-ride’s, shared taxi’s, scheduled mini-bus services and car-clubs, not the stupid one double decker running empty three times a day at unsociable hours, but in the mean time, park & ride will be necessary, and note, park and ride buses can also form an orbital bus service for normal users as they circle the city picking up from various park and ride car-parks. Park and Ride is also a chance to have intercity coaches that run down the freeways and pick up at junctions, taking just a few mins to drop off and pick up at Park and Ride car-parks that are served by orbital buses that take people into the city. And there is enough local capacity for bio-fuel for public transport (but not enough for cars) Its all there, but no return please to 1960’s planning, its all been done before!!

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  • I for one would support building lots more new houses.

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  • I live in the countryside but I don’t want the perpetual insecurity of renting.I think I’d prefer the building,thanks and make the most of what countryside is left.Of course we could stop expanding the population,unthinkable,it makes SOME people better off.

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  • planning4acrash says:

    David, as mentioned many times before, housebuilders already have enough land to buid all the houses the government wants built, but, because local authorities can’t borrow for social housing anymore, the quantity we need doesn’t get built because its not in the interests of private developers to flood the market and reduce prices, think about it, why would you buld 3m houses to reduce the cost of housing if you relied on the reciepts from sales of houses. The argument about opening up the greenbelt is futile, all it would do is provide house builders larger land banks.

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  • @dohousescrashinthewoods.
    Wouldn’t that mean admitting that the council apartments didn’t p*ss in their own lifts by magic? That all council blocks are in fact worth a fortune when you get the existing tenants out?
    Bring on apartment buildings, near a tube. Why not? The answer, in my opinion, is that the councillors have a vested interest in maintaining the price of their own properties.
    This is the problem of the whole country. Tragically, we are on the balance point so that home owners have sufficient voting power to keep the whole charade moving along. There are greater influences towards keeping and extending the current house binge than otherwise. That reality will step in will be resisted. Personally I think that Labour will heedlessly inflate. If Mervyn ever goes, and I am sure Brown, incompetent that he is, must realise this, if Mervyn ever steps down Sterling will tank immediately. The only single person with a position of power in the UK who worries about inflation is Mervyn.
    Thats why he didn’t get slandered heavily by Labour looking for an excuse. If he goes thats it. Nobody trusts Labour, and by that I don’t mean they are competent and untrustworthy, I mean they are obviously insane Mugabes. Pity the old people here in fifteen years. I will look after my old Ma and thats it. Labour voters can choke as far as I am concerned.

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  • In the Standard today they reported that “Animal Farm” is no longer required for GCSE or A’Level. According to the National Union of Teachers, apparently really reading it is overkill.

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  • Animal Farm is not his best. The road to Wigan Pier is probably more apt if the pessimists here are right…

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  • david20040_0 said…: “I for one would support building lots more new houses.”

    Yes, well you are the token HPC News Blog muppet. Supply and demand, blah, blah, blah!

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  • I’ll leave the national trust now. What we do need in this country is more houses, with brownfield sites gone we need to look at greenfield sites. Brits live in the most cramped houses in whole europe, it is time we put an end to this.

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