The Government wants to ease restrictions on greenfield sites, then says it will protect the countryside; they want to remove the proviso that homes must be affordable forever. The NPPF policy is a dangerous document.
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 elderly folk living in dormitory villages, and there will be more overcrowded towns, where we are seeing developers only interested in building what they can sell. What is needed is to re-vitalise village life and create community life by inviting every parish council to find a site for up to 20 houses. Unfortunately, many newcomers, not all, are against this.
Cottages are sold off, barns converted into weekend retreats, and some are 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. Usually, there were a thriving local pub, schools and post offices, all of which are now quickly disappearing.
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 receive £400,000 from the plan.
Have a review of Inheritance Tax for family businesses, especially, farmland. There is a case to say that it doesn’t matter how much one owns, it`s what you do with it that matters. Create a Land Community Trust for a new houses plan. We should build a million houses that people can buy, but not sell on; once paid for, they then pay into a family pension plan.
A new housing system is needed. If one farmed an acre of grade three land, it would take 500 years to earn £100,000. So, let’s cap development land at a maximum of £100,000 an acre, employ developers to build one million homes at £120,000, add the £20,000 for the local council. We are seeing developers only interested in building what they can sell.
Once the mortgage was paid, one could pay £300 a month, for example, into a pension plan. Over a twenty-year plan, one would have £72,000 in hand, and in the event that one wanted to take up the supported houses scheme, one could cash the CLT home for the £140,000, (at present rates), the supported housing, would take up 50% and one could still have £72,000 to add to the savings, making £144,000 in hand, for future years.
With the state pension becoming £310 per couple, the above plan would be the answer to our care issues, and this fund could also pay for funeral costs.
This money 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 residents may choose to have a new village hall, and this could include a new local shop, with local producers supplying local foods. Grants could be used to develop old buildings for new start-up businesses. An older people care plan should also be included in village community developments, where a carer could live on site. 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.
In all new developments, there should a sports centre, running track, an indoor cricket and football place for all ages to use.
There should also be self-sufficient gardens on all new developments. We should not be covering our fields with houses. Community restaurants would save energy. Water saving with one roof span and would be used for the community food growing area. Build communities not just estates.
With the UK leaving the European Union there is a great opportunity to create local farming business that actually makes a living, and becomes an enjoyable enterprise. This would be better than giving funds to the EU to spend.
We are seeing young people who are 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 some people will not be able to afford a care plan, so again the state will have to foot the bill.
We then 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 company-run 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.
Some are saying they need Eastern European labour to harvest fruit, that fact is, if one has fruit harvesting to do, the only people who are available are the unemployed. The unemployable or the retired: those who are young and working full time can take two months 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 expense. 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 the farms big enough to employ full-time staff. Or in some cases have a shared staffing scheme.
For some answers visit www.campaign-for-change.co.uk
Is market housing bad for your health? Is that the reason we are seeing more debt and despair, and a broken society?