I took a drive across Beachy Head at the weekend. The mist was descending, and I admit it’s my favourite time to go up there – a slight risk because of visibility makes it even more appealing! It becomes eerily beautiful in its bleakness and the sound of a squall brewing across the sea below is even better.  I need no music for company just the sound of the car, the wind, and my thoughts. The sheep, cows, and horses carry on regardless, the sheep in particular really engrossed in eating the green grass…  And the isolation reminds me of one of my favourite books – Great Expectations – the deserted churchyard scene where Pip meets the convict who changes his life…. From there I drive on to Birling Gap – again the high winds and huge drop to the beach below creates a highly energised and refreshing atmosphere. I have blasted off many a headache and problem up there.  Even on a sunny day it is very windy and clears the brain immediately.  The views of the Seven Sisters and the sea below are stunning. I even love the dried-up bales of hay and wind frazzled trees all pointing to the sea that I pass on the way.

BUT…(brake screech)..  a worrying thing happened a while ago… the local council wanted to sell some of the farms on the conservation land to raise funds! Can you imagine where that would lead? Once that floodgate was open eventually all of Beachy Head would be built on – flats and houses as well as private farms. It would be the end of it as we know it. It would raise huge sums as it would be so popular. The locals were up in arms. As far as I know, it got put on hold… but who knows when it will surface again. And this is going on all over the UK…

We are now being told that we must ‘release’ a lot of the so-called Green Belt land for at least a million homes and are being guilt-tripped (beaten over the head) by stories of homelessness.  Greenbelt land has been built on before. But at the moment much of England and the UK is still the green and pleasant land that we love. But not for long unless we face up to reality. It is the same story being played out everywhere – the NHS for instance – we must bring in workers from abroad to work there but this then, of course, puts more pressure on the infrastructure – so what do we do? We build more houses, more schools, more everything and so on. Who’s going to do the building? Oh yes! –  bring more people in, then, of course, we need more of everything again, a ridiculous cycle of mass immigration and building that suits the wealthy elite at the top of the chain perfectly. They won’t suffer because of the overcrowding and destruction of our beautiful land that we put up with, but will instead enjoy more and more lucrative contracts to complete the work as we are squeezed into ever decreasing spaces.

I love London, which is extremely crowded and has been built up for a very long time. But even so, London has the most gorgeous green heaths, parks, and gardens – it was once the greenest capital city in Europe – maybe not now! But it’s still possible to enjoy the open air. However, where I live in the suburbs there has been a massive amount of building and the council has just announced the ‘good news’ that they are going to build thousands more new homes! Where I wondered? I already knew in my mind – on all the green open fields we currently use for rugby, cricket, football and picnicking. What hell lies in the near future for us with the local infrastructure?

There are many things that can be done to make more homes available.  There are thousands of empty properties in London alone – some are just left empty by the owners, many are luxury investment properties never meant to be occupied, and many are council owned and not deemed safe to live in. Surely this should be addressed first? There is also a huge amount of land that is left derelict. Add to that the number of homes that will be destroyed to accommodate HS2 and other such projects and we begin to see where the real hypocrisy lies…

30 million people live near Green Belt, escaping to it from stressful, overcrowded urban lives. Losing it would affect wildlife, air pollution, quality of life, and also change our very way of life forever. I love London but need access to the countryside too. But I don’t want people to be homeless – often cited as the reason we must keep building, yet much of it is a social issue, caused by divorce, unemployment, health issues, addictions, unhappy home lives, criminal records, and of course ex-military personnel who come home to no jobs and no help so end up on the street too.…  and many so-called homeless are from abroad and could just go home perhaps…  How would Green Belt building change this? First-time buyers are struggling because of mass immigration and over-inflated property prices – too much competition.  Foreign property investors flood the economy with money, but it forces property prices through the roof.  Banks were allowed to create a lot of ‘new’ money before the last financial crisis and the percentage of income that people now spend on paying mortgages is huge compared to what it used to be, house prices rising much faster than wages.

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