Friday 1 May 2015


During this campaign I have discovered that there are plans afoot to build 1000 new houses between my village and the next and a possible 500 in a nearby village. I have been asked to say how I would "Unequivocally stop speculative building", which is a hard thing to answer. On one hand I certainly support keeping countryside as countryside; we need to green spaces to be the lungs of our planet, but I also have a sympathy with people who want to move to a nice area, farmers who may need the money from selling their fields and the tradesmen who would be employed. I also want to know "Why?" Why do the three villages need so many houses? We do not have employment here, just a handful of farms, some small schools and a few shops. There is not major industry close to us. We are near the M1 and the M42 and have good rail links to London, and will not be too far away from an HS2 station, should the line ever be built. Is it then for commuters?

One of my election issues is the lack of affordable housing in the constituency; in both the rural and urban areas there is not sufficient housing for people of low wage, or for first time buyers. As the developments are "speculative" I suspect that they will not include genuinely affordable houses. The Green Party wants to increase the quantity of social housing, owned by local councils and not private landlords because everyone has the right to a home, whatever the income or age, young or old. We may have a small number of people in need of social housing, the problem is not as great as in the higher populated and more industrialised part of the constituency. So although the villages need social housing they do not need that many.

The Green Party is committed to local communities making their own decisions and state that they will "Support local aspirations by introducing a community right of appeal against speculative development which conflicts with agreed local or neighbourhood plans". The Green Party Manifesto sets out the details of our housing strategy and it includes:

  • Bringing empty houses back into use
  • Minimise development on greenfield land
  • Reduce VAT on housing repairs and extensions
  • Break up the big housing cartels and support small and medium sized builders
And these and other strategies are designed to put off mass speculative housing, allowing communities to choose what and how much development they need. 

The full strategy can be found in Chapter 8 of the manifesto:

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