Everyone knows it. The countryside is integral to the definition of Britain. It is indelibly part our heritage. It is a national asset that should be prized. So why are we so criminally casual about its loss?
The vandalism of rural Britain isn\’t happening with ordered precision. Each year, an area of countryside the size of Southampton is covered with concrete. But we aren\’t building inspiring new towns or green cities.
No, this loss is horribly random. Dismal, identikit developments disfigure historic market towns. Precious green spaces between villages are thoughtlessly destroyed. We are told not to worry, that only a few percentage points of countryside will be lost.
Housing covers about 3% of England. If we were to lose \”a few percentage points\” of the countryside to housing then we would double the housing stock of the country. That isn\’t what is happening and it isn\’t what anyone is proposing.
And this seriously grates too:
England saw once before what random development would mean for the countryside. The great construction of the 1930s, which created millions of new homes, finally alarmed politicians when they saw that the suburban sprawl would not stop. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 was brought in to end the era of unplanned development.
And where is it that people like living? What brings a good price? Those very ribbon developments that no one is allowed to build anymore. Because our Lords and Masters, most especially those who own the land inside the Green Belts, would prefer that we don\’t get to live as we would wish to, but as they insist we should.
Cunts the lot of them and they\’ve found their willing chamberpot carrier in the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs. Mind the stench Mr. Herbert: it sticks.