A very interesting piece picked up by the Food & Farming Futures resource:
Village life, market housing, market rents & care
The Government wants to ease restrictions on green field sites, then says it will protect the countryside; they want to remove the proviso that homes must be affordable for ever. The NPPF policy is due out in July; it’s a dangerous document.
This opinion piece is by Laurence Keeley: http://www.campaign-for-change.co.uk/
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 old fogies 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.
There is a case to say, it doesn't matter how much one owns, it`s what you do with it that matters.
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, stool ball teams. Tug-of-war was another sporting activity, and usually there was a thriving local pub. Schools and post offices are now quickly disappearing.
There needs to be
o 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.
o A review of Inheritance Tax for family businesses especially farmland.
o A Land Community Trust for a new houses plan.
o We should build a million houses that people can buy, but not sell on; once paid for, then pay into a family pension plan.
o A new housing system is needed. If one farmed an acre of 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, and with the price of houses and rents, we could have more mental health issues and depression, and air pollution.
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 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.
Every parish council would have £400,000 from the plan.
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 may 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 peoples’ 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.
With the UK leaving the European Union there is a great opportunity to create local farming business that makes a living; and become 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.
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 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.
Laurence Keeley, 6 Fairfield, Herstmonceux,East Sussex, BN27 4NE
11 June 2018
Campaign for Change
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