Sunday, 10 June 2012

More Houses, good or bad?

I kept a very diplomatic silence in the pub last night as a discussion developed about the proposed new housing developments in a couple of local villages. I had already started reading my Kindle when those around me began talking about football and kept my head lowered and my mouth shut when it moved on to this new subject.
Two very anti-development members of the group were worried about the fact that there would be no jobs for the people who moved into these houses. The people concerned don't seem to be able to get their heads around the fact that people do not work within walking distance of their jobs any more. Which is strange as one of the people taking part in the discussion travels for 30-40 minutes each day to get to his job. And another has a son who lives in a village and computes to London to work.
Other concerns were the extra demands that would be placed on services, everything from roads to schools and health services.
I sat quietly reading my book - very good book, by the way, the latest from Gerry McCulloch, a wonderful new writer, this book is called Angel in Flight - saying nothing.
The fact that these houses are due to be built will bring a welcome boost to the flagging building industry.
The fact that the road system might not cope could led to improvements in the roads, along with more schools, more medical centres, upgrading to all sorts of services that are currently struggling to cope.
More houses means more council tax coming in.
And people need somewhere to live. For every young family with two or three children, when those children grow up they will need homes of their own. With people living longer, houses are not becoming so readily available. With so many families splitting, two homes are often needed where once only one was used.
One member of the discussion group said these developments would encourage people to leave the cities.
Good! Has he every lived in a city? I have and couldn't wait to get out.
And while all this was going on I couldn't help but think the very village where this discussion was taking place has changed beyond belief over the last 50/60 years. Ok. Now it seems well established, but a huge redevelopment took place back in the 1960, which brought an enormous number of new houses to a tiny village. It also brought a bigger school, a better doctor's surgery, and a decent sewage system that up until that time had not existed!
So there can be benefits to new developments.

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