To you who work to keep England beautiful
We are not the enemy. Please stop treating us as if we were. Our business is simply to build the homes that people need. Here are some ideas for a zero cost way to find homes your children can afford.
It is in human nature to hate change because change means uncertainty and uncertainty is something we fear. We understand that. But please consider too that all of us have kept quiet over the last 30 years and allowed you to have the whip hand. Your strength as voters is what has prevented enough houses being built. Your good intentions and deep wallets have pushed millions of (mostly) younger people out of the chance of owning their own home. Many of them will never be able to afford it. They sit as second class citizens while most of you enjoy the undisturbed pleasures of the countryside and the satisfaction that you have done your bit to enhance it.
I ask you, next time you catch sight of a rare butterfly or admire the amazing views over Grasmere or out to sea from a coastal path on the millions of hectares owned by the National Trust, or stand in wonderment among the standing stones of an ancient monument built by our ancestors so long ago, next time, think of all the people just like you, just like your children or grandchildren who are stuck at home in a rented house or flat desperately trying to get onto the bottom rung of the ladder. Next time, remember that it is you who have removed the three bottom rungs from that ladder.
This is not an all or nothing situation. We just need better allocation of our land resources. Hitler is no longer about to invade us, so we do not need to be self-sufficient in wheat. We can create amazing places where rare species can flourish in peace. We can create other amazing places devoted to understanding of nature, pleasure for everyone and education for our children. We can create yet other amazing places for informal games sports and exercise; and of course, we can create the most amazing new communities, unconstrained by requirements to imitate the monstrosity across the road, preserved simply because an enthusiastic graduate at Historic England has decided it should be preserved in aspic for ever.
We could plant a million trees just by replacing a few thousand hectares of oil seed rape, when a variety of oil-producing crops can be grown all over the world more efficiently than us. But why stop the trees? Only the most ancient of forests provide a truly natural environment. Wherever the trees are less than 100 years old, they are dark and grim places providing habitat for a very limited number of species. Government confuses the benefit of trees to produce goods in timber and as a store of carbon with the benefit of increasing the natural environment, which stores just as much carbon but in a far wider variety of plants, whilst at the same time providing facilities for mere humans like we who do not have a doctorate in the diseases of ash trees or the pottery of Rome’s Republican era.
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