Thursday, 21 January 2010

This Green and Pleasant Land

My friend Jack if critical of the idea of the Funny Farm.

Don't build on the countryside, he says. Let's live high density in cities. Death to suburbia. Keep our green and pleasant land green and pleasant.

The Government's South East plan sets a target of building 32,700 new homes each year in the SouthEast of England. The document says it's time to build on the green.

We've had a policy against doing that as least since the Second World War. At that time, we had to import food by boat at great danger. This is crazy, we said. Let's grow our food here. Let's protect our agricultural land.

Plus, culturally, we are deeply attached to rural England. Planners have had a strong remit to prevent rural development.

The South East plan changes that.


"Planning policy must therefore balance the need to protect the countryside and retain the charm and heritage of the region’s enviable patchwork of smaller settlements whilst making sure that thriving and socially inclusive communities are maintained and developed, to serve the needs of both their locality and the wider region.

"Whilst the policies of this Plan seek to focus new development into and around existing larger settlements, there remains a need to recognise that local authorities should consider the need to plan for some new development outside these areas to support rural communities and services."

My Dad's a planner. He says there's a big furore in the planning press about the Government's building targets. It's not realistic, say local authorities. We don't want it, say local communities. We won't do it, they say together. Court cases are ensuing. Who knows.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting American takes on new rural developments in the Northwest, worth a quick read: