UK has passed a sustainable level

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: D.Roberts, Roundwood Road, St Leonards

I agree with many of the sentiments of Dennis Anthony (Observer, 16/6/17) about over-population, though I think the nation is able to sustain more than 15 million people.

A few years ago the Optimum Population Trust calculated that a UK population of 30 million would be sustainable in terms of developed and farming land, resources, water, energy, etc.

Obviously we are way beyond that, and the fact that we have seen an increase of five million people in only the last 20 years – mostly through migration – isn’t helpful.

A prime example is the housing sector. The problem is demand, not supply.

There were enough houses for everyone 30 years ago, but not now, because of a rapid rise in the population, and because people want to preserve what green spaces they have left in urban, suburban and rural landscapes, and also farming land for food security and less intensive farming practices – so prices rise, and the poorest find themselves crammed into tower blocks or ramshackle private rented property, and even those with middle incomes struggle to find homes they can afford.

One last thought for those who advocate “open borders”.

How can authorities plan ahead if they have no idea how many extra people they have to cater for in the next one, two or five years?