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Opinion : Do we need to ‘build, build, build’ more homes in High Wycombe?

| July 1, 2020


Recently the Government has outlined a strategy to soften the blow of the impending Covid recession by spending £5bn on infrastructure projects.

The aim of ‘new deal‘ is to ‘build, build, build’ ourselves out of hardship by taking an opportunity ‘to build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK‘.

So will building more homes help us here in High Wycombe?

In my opinion the last thing Wycombe needs is more homes. What we do need are more factories to provide skilled jobs for local workers so our economy can thrive again like it did in the halcyon days of the early 20th Century when Wycombe had a vibrant and prosperous furniture industry.

What’s the point of building homes if people don’t have jobs to buy the them?

Where are all the people going to come from to live in the homes?

What use is it training people with new skills if there are no factories or workplaces to put the skills to good use?

How will building houses help those in the hospitality sector, hairdressers, etc….? (Perhaps the hairdressers and restaurant workers will be expected to retrain as brick layers?)

In my view just deciding to ‘build’ as a panacea to our way out of financial problems shows the desperate lack of ideas that has been visible throughout the national leadership during the recent crisis.

If my good self was in charge, rather than building more houses my good self would start knocking down some of the homes that have been built recently on former factory sites in the town and return the land to industrial use.

In my view land owned by developers that has not been built on yet should be taken by the state as a ‘peoples tax’ with no compensation given at all.

Rather than relaxing planning laws surely they need to be tightened?

Rather than developers rushing in and building monstrosities for their own profit then disappearing into the distance, the planing process should offer more consideration to the views and wishes of those already in residence.

If yours truly had my way, if a neighbour raised the merest objection to a development then it should be stopped with no questions asked and if someone started building without planning permission then the land on which the building is taking place would be taken as ‘compensation to society’ for their indiscretion.

Rather than some works such as loft conversions considered as ‘permitted development’ surely all building work, no matter how small, should have to go through a rigorous planning application process?

Would also it not be a good idea if the housing associations throughout the UK were closed down and the social housing returned to the control of the local authorities?

Sadly my good self fears that while people’s lives are being ruined by the virus it’s likely that our towns and neighbourhoods will be ruined by the daft plans formulated by the powers that be to lessen the effects of the virus on the economy.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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