Saturday, September 18, 2010

Calls for more houses to be built in villages

British village life 'dying out' after pub closures

Village life in Britain is "dying out" because rural pubs are closing at a record rate, a report from the National Housing Federation has said. The federation, which represents England's housing associations, said key services were disappearing "at an alarming rate" and that affordable local housing was the key to saving traditional village life. And it said the closures reflected a declining demand for services in villages where local families had been priced out of the area by wealthy commuters, pensioners and second-home owners. Another factor was that there were too few new homes, it added. "Unless we build more affordable homes for local people, they will continue to be priced out of rural areas and services they support will vanish with them."

Posted by drewster @ 11:52 AM (1541 views)
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9 thoughts on “Calls for more houses to be built in villages

  • The mechanisation of agriculture, mass car ownership and the cult of owning horses as pets killed off the village pub (and shops) and made run of the mill rural housing too expensive for low paid locals to own or rent. Building low cost housing is just a sticking plaster on what is an economic problem that can only be solved by a return of more land to productive agricultural use. This may well happen and may be the plus side of climate change for this country especially if we have to make greater efforts to produce more food locally.

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  • At least they are being realistic about the causes of this blight – boomer NIMBYs and second-homeowners rather than simply dismissing it as another casualty of the credit crunch.

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  • I’m not sure it would be sensible to promote village living anyway. Almost by definition, new entrants to villages will have to commute to bigger towns & cities for work (yes there will be one or two jobs running the village pub/postoffice, but everyone else will have to commute). Most commuters drive; and that means more congestion and more CO2 emissions. For that reason alone I think it would be better to build well-designed towns & suburbs where public transport can be cost-effective; rather than small villages where it isn’t.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    @ enui, UK farmers are incredibly productive because they are so mechanised, it is cheaper to use machines than human beings, but this comparison is distorted by the fact that machines don’t cost income tax and national insurance. So if you want to increase farm output even more, what you need is less taxation of incomes and higher taxes on the land (i.e. negative agricultural subsidies). This will shift the balance from using a few humans on a huge farm (average farm land per farmer or agricultural worker = over 100 acres!) to more humans on smaller farms.

    And what Drewster says. It is more environmentally friendly to live in suburbs or towns.

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  • but who wants to build affordable housing when they can build unaffordable housing and line their pockets with wads of cash????

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  • 1. enuii

    That wouldn’t be Monsanto friendly.

    Can’t have people escaping the GM medication stronghold can we.

    You’ll be talking about strong communities clubbing together demanding hard proof of climate change next.

    Terrorism in Ripley?

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  • 5. titaniccaptain

    I couldn’t agree more, apart from Sabbath, which falls on a Saturday… He rested on the 7th day.

    Paganism is alive and well for the little devils who work at Tesco’s.

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  • Tc

    Getting fined for not attending church – that’ll be popular!

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  • Caribbean Beauty says:

    Loved Titanic Captain’s “sensitive” but funny observations on incomers (which is what my family and I are in a rural Norfolk village). We got involved in local community life very quickly and it paid dividends although locals tell me I won’t be truly accepted until I have done 25 years here.

    But my observations re village life in these parts is that although pubs etc are suffering due to TC’s eloquently summarised reasons, in fact more and more IT type workers or traders who rely on the web are moving in, with their young families (including us). Several locals tell me that there are more kids in the village now than for several decades, and this is also alongside record 2nd home ownership by weekenders and holiday let people (around half of housing stock). It is all down to Boradband, enabling people to work from home miles away from sink estates and muggers.

    But the downside of IT users moving in is that although they bring kids and support local schools/scouts etc that way, they rarely shop much in local stores since they are experts at internet shopping and saving. We too are guilty of this so we make a point of spending at least 5-10 quid a week in the village shop as a small contribution to its survival. Times are changing – webwork is replacing agriculture as employment in these ere parts.

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