We have seen over a number of years the decline in village life; it all started with governments valuing estates and taxing them. While this broke up the wealth of landowners, it has been creating unaffordable houses for the local people, and working family farms have all but disappeared. If the trend continues, we will end up with only old fogies living in dormitory villages, and more overcrowded towns, where we are seeing developers only interested in building what they can sell.
There is a case to say, it doesn’t matter how much one owns, it`s what you do with it that matters.
Cottages are sold off, Barns converted into weekend retreats, and some used for light industry; villages used to have football and cricket teams and in the South East stoolball teams! Tug of war was another sporting activity. There was traditionally a thriving local pub, schools and a post office. All of which are disappearing fast.
There needs to be a new village housing plan where houses could be built and sold at cost plus £20,000, for the community to use via the Parish Council.
Every parish council would have £400,000 from the plan.
Unfortunately, many newcomers (not all) are against this. Yet what is needed is to reinvent the locality & community life, have a plan where one would invite every parish in the United Kingdom, to select a place or places where one could build up to 20 houses. This could be extended where a large number of homes are planned in some villages or small towns.
The landowners would receive £10,000 per house.
Have a review of Inheritance tax for family businesses, especially farmland. Create a land Community Trust for a new houses plan.
Once we leave the European Union, we will have more capital available (having not given funds to the EU to spend). This could help with enlarging village shops that are often too small to cater for the local needs owing to little space, and some village schools could be enlarged. Some would choose to have a new village hall, this may include a new local shop, with local producers supplying local foods and grants, could be used to develop old buildings for new start-up businesses. An older peoples care plan should also be included in village community developments, where a carer could live on site.
Where we are seeing developers only interested in building what they can sell. With the price of houses and rents, we will have more mental health issues, depression, and air pollution.
Some are saying they need Eastern European labour to harvest fruit, that fact is, if one has fruit harvesting to do, the only people that are available are the unemployed, the unemployable or the retired; those who are young and working full time can take two month off to work on the farms.
Many of the migrant workers don’t live under the British system; they don’t pay rents, rates or travelling expenses, they rough it for a few weeks, then send their wages home, then go home themselves.
We need affordable housing in the villages as above, and farms big enough to employ full-time staff. Or in some cases have a shared staffing scheme.
In all new developments, there should a sports centre, running track, an indoor cricket and football place for all ages to use.
Also, there should be self-sufficient gardens on all new developments. We should not be covering our fields with houses. Community restaurants would save energy. And water saving with one roof span would save water, and be there for the community food growing area.
We are seeing young people unable to afford a market house; they may well pay rent all their lives, and never be able to save money. When it comes to retirement, the state will have to pay those outrageous rents, also they will not be able to afford a care plan; again the state will have to foot the bill,
A new housing system is needed, if one farms an acre of land, it would take 500 years to earn £100,000.
So let’s fix development land at a maximum of £100,000 an acre, employ developers to build one million homes, at £120,000, allow people to purchase them, but it can only be sold back to the local Council or create a trust.
Then we won’t need to spend £24 billion a year on Housing Benefits, and £34 Billion on helping first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder,(the ladder to nowhere).
Close the private care homes and replace them with a community care plan that is run locally; where every village and town would have supported accommodation; where care would be paramount, rather than see private Care Companies milk the system and complain they can’t manage on their charges.
For more details visit www.campaign-for-change.co.uk