House searchers only

To every person searching for a home

You are the silent majority. We look on the Internet constantly to find some support group for people whose prime target in life is to get onto a rung of the housing ladder, preferably in Cambridgeshire. In vain. It would be great if you could set up some sort of pressure group for people like you. All three main political parties purport to support a substantial increase in the rate we are building new homes, but that never seems to translate into enough determination to really make things happen.

The problem, as we know, is that your interest in more houses being built directly conflicts with the interests of people who do not want to change to their peaceful, well-established and attractive environment. Maybe you actually wear two hats yourself. Not necessary. You can have your cake and eat it - or have your house and still preserve our beautiful country.

Nothing will change unless you find a few cross-party members of Parliament who will work together as your champions. First, you need to agree what needs to be done. At some level, you need to have the volume of voices and determination to overcome the vast number of extremely well funded quangos, charities and others. I respectfully suggest it is not a question of preferring houses to preserving archaeological artefacts or newly recognised species of bird. It is rather about balance.

The most obvious imbalance does not relate to developers and house builders, but to land owners. I am in no doubt that farm land owners are a lovely set of people – whether family farmers or trustees to one of the Cambridge colleges. However, all are happy to accept the market mechanism whereby the price of housing land is now outrageous. The most obvious omission from the recent planning White Paper is any action which could prejudice the inevitable upward march of land prices which keeps you in rented accommodation year after year after year.

Of course, we guess that you support some of those giant wealthy charities quangos that oppose housing where you would like to live. But surely that should not stop you from writing to SouthCambs or any other city or district where you would like to live and telling them plainly that it is simply not satisfactory for older generations to prevent you and your children from enjoying the countryside just as they have done. In the round, many of these people are your parents and grandparents. Of course they would be delighted if you could build a house on a plot close to them but somehow they don’t see the connection between that loving willingness to accommodate you and their manic fear of the unknown if a small field near them was to be given over to a few houses for people like you. Time to speak up . . . ?
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