Seemingly localism and neighbourhood plans offer little protection to Northiam’s vanishing AONB (28/8/15), as it can easily be ignored by government planning policies!
A 1909 housing act, saw family homes getting a 30ft x 90ft vegetable garden; today’s profitably pretentious mansions get a handkerchief ‘lawn’ and a car-park!
Britain produces barely 60 per cent of our food needs so was I aghast on visiting Maidstone to see an area of prime agricultural land at Langley, the size of Rye, becoming massive housing estates to meet Britain’s population explosion of 72m by 2030 (a 14 per cent rise – excluding today’s immigration crisis for which one-third of new homes are now needed).
Rye allegedly ‘needs’ 293, and Northiam 72, new homes by 2030 plus another 20 per cent (400 for Rye) by 2050!
Our rural areas only require a fraction of that.
While 65 per cent of homes are one or two person occupancy, the majority of the new (profitable, but unaffordable multi-bed) ‘rural’ homes are clearly aimed at wealthy, commuting town dwelling families who recreate the very suburbia they have escaped!
Incomers rarely add to village economies or create meaningful jobs.
Fifty years ago there were 70-plus concurrent roadside businesses between Playden and Newenden – today, a fraction of that.
Thanks to modern commerce, high productivity manufacturing and out-souring to China, we have six per cent unemployment so we neither need a larger population nor more employees.
Britons are more than capable of breeding though not, seemingly, ones keen in filling lowly job vacancies!
Why then do governments and economists demand more immigration rather than train our unemployed and stem Britain’s population growth at sustainable levels?
Bizarrely, its for tax revenue by ‘boosting GDP’ and ‘to fund future pensions’.
And who funds the immigrants’ pensions? More immigrants, of course!
Surely it is better if we self-fund our pensions and governments stop taxing our savings and meagre personal wealth so we can save our AONB for future generations and not become another Hong Kong Island?
Britain has lost its direction; our politicians have lost the plot!
We need to make a very important decision over our country’s future.
Barry M Jones
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