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Is the green belt doomed? One of the great creations of postwar British planning – the concept of a national park within reach of every city-dweller – is fast losing friends.

Abolish the green belt. Now.

For here’s the effect of it.

That’s the slum housing on Whiteway in Bath. Chicken coops for the proles.

That’s Englishcombe, about 400 yards away.

The chicken coops are built because Englishcombe is part of the green belt.

The proles must live in hovels so that the middle classes can stare at a fucking field.

God I hate planners.

16 thoughts on “Hope so”

  1. However if they build houses on the latter they’ll be the usual rabbit hutches crammed in like sardines, which is just as soulless as the multi-storey monstrosities in the former. No one is going to be building new royal crescents or villages of stone country cottages.

  2. ‘the birth of planning in the 1940s.’ Back when fascism was in fashion, I see.

    Of course there is another solution to this. Stop immigration. With the population dropping as everyone says it will, in another thousand years or so, the UK will be back to the Neanderthal level of population density.

  3. The green belt is what stops the bottom picture looking like the top pictures.

    The “slum” area you describe appears to have been built on the countryside that surrounded the original village of Twerton, so we can already see the results of your opinion. There isn’t any doubt – it’s there, we’re looking at it. Just next to the “slums” is a green area twice the size of the village. Build on that (the people in the flats aren’t entitled to their view of greenery). Better still, knock down all those unimprovable legacy houses in central Bath and chuck up some quality highrise.

    How ironic that the little country village you want to destroy is called Englishcombe. You can rename the husk Wogcome, and change Bath to Crescentstan.

  4. Same with national parks. Our town is a little exclave entirely surrounded by national park. People want a place with a nice view, but aren’t allowed to build in the park, so every last inch of town is being built up to the park boundary, with hugely expensive tiny ticky-tacky that locals can’t afford. They’re even building houses on the odour control buffer surrounding the sewage farm.

  5. My CPRE newsletter this week urges me to sign a petition for more roof top solar, car parks, warehouses, new builds, there’s 70GW of potential they say. They mention how much they love to see renewables but don’t want inappropriate solar farms in the countryside.
    Two paragraphs later.
    Battery farms are not appropriate for green field land.

    Jesus wept.

  6. “The proles must live in hovels so that the middle classes can stare at a fucking field.”

    And quite right too.

  7. Theophrastus (2066)

    The problem with green belts is that they force housing out into the countryside, leading to dormitory villages.

  8. The propaganda for “Green belts” was (or, at least, included) that they acted as “lungs” for the cities. The near-abolition of coal fires and cleaning-up of vehicle exhausts etc has rendered that argument redundant/obsolete.
    But there is an easier way to attack the shortage of building land – change the limit of the number of dwellings per acre to an amount of green/unbuilt space per dwelling so that multi-storey blocks of flats would house more people per acre than two-storey terraced houses. I say easier because the professional objectors would find it difficult to frame a non-ludicrous objection.

  9. Why are the illustrated dwellings “chicken coops”? (OK the top left looks a bit grubby. But that’s a maintenance problem rather than build). They are actually what you should be building. Or at least they’ve managed to go 3 or 4 high. Rather than estates of rabbit hutch sized boxes, each in it’s own tiny plot.
    I’ve just come back from seeing someone in what must be the poorest district of Torremolinos. By our standards, here, they are very small flats. About the same size as you’ll see advertised in UK as “Luxury Development Flats”. And they’re only built 5 high. But despite a small residential quarter, there’s a mini-market, hairdressers & several other assorted retail outlets plus, importantly, two cafe/bars for people to meet each other.. As a result the place is a “community”. People know each other. They’re part of something. So the place is clean, tidy, safe, not smothered in graffiti & pleasant place to live.
    The UK’s fucked itself with this moronic middle-class mentality that every home has to be its own miniature castle. And it gets imposed on everyone. You’re doing it now. You don’t live somewhere like that. Why do you think everyone else should?

  10. There’s not actually much wrong with most of the council developments have turned into disaster areas. Except that they just built accommodation without any of the other things that produces a community. And I don’t mean a “community centre” closed most of the day, half a mile away.

  11. There’s a little strip along there, about a mile long. At one end 1920s council houses. Solid 3 and 4 betdders on quarter acre gardens. Highly desirable these days, the “Homes for Heroes” after WWI. As you walk up the same street – toward both those pictures – the infill gets smaller and smaller, shittier and shittier. There’s actually a little development of 8 to 10 places that are smaller than 2 up 2 downs. They don’t even have the backyard for the shitter. The last line of housing right on the green belt line is one room deep – can’t go over the line, see?

    I don’t object in the slightest to flats. Own two myself. It’s this insistence that when we build we must – must – economise on land. Instead of actually building what people would like to live in. Some people like flats, great. Some like tiny shoeboxes with no garden – great. Some like that traditional des res with front and back stretching that 100 foot and more. The law says it’s illegal to build those any more (density rules are 30 per hectare). I’m not arguing against choice – I’m arguing against not-choice.

  12. Problem is Tim, you need a certain density to get a community. Something you see in all those “desirable” villages. The small artisan cottages & narrow streets. Of course, they’re now taken over by the fucking middle classes who use a respectable plot would house a couple of pigs & some chickens to create a Chelsea Flow Show exhibit. And produce a community of sharp elbowed mutual backbiters.

  13. I’m not arguing against choice – I’m arguing against not-choice.
    It’s interesting that most of the places people actually want to live in were built without planning controls.

  14. “It’s interesting that most of the places people actually want to live in were built without planning controls.”

    However it was a time when there was perhaps half the number of people in the country compared to today, and the population wasn’t increasing by 0.5-1m annually………….as I said, no-one is going to be building royal crescents and cotswold villages, regardless of where they are allowed to build. Its going to be wall to wall rabbit hutches green belt or not.

  15. Bloke: If *you* want to live without a garden, that’s your lookout. Me, I *want* a little garden. You have no right to impose your desire to be garden-less on me.

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