1 Comment

The problem is Tom, that we just don't have the room for all this building (certainly not in England). I sometimes wonder if the proponents of mass immigration and mass housebuilding are also environmentalists. Think of the knock-on effects of housing and immigration. The effect on the health service and the increased demands on other support services, from policing, fire services to schooling, care, pharmacies, water etc, even likely impacts on prison populations etc. For every 1000 houses you build you easily get a few thousand new people into an area, and they put additional strains on schooling, roads, public transport health service etc. But some of those providing the services for the new housing would also need to live in the area (or at least some of them) so that in itself requires yet more housing. These ‘support’ staff, though, themselves will have families and place additional demands on services, which leads to even more housing – and soon we’d be in a never ending spiral.

The impact on roads would be considerable (sometimes requiring new roads to be built). In Knaresborough we're sometimes seeing Builders trying to cram in hundreds of houses where the exit point is some tiny lane. And we all know don't we that the Developers have the whip hand in all this. They employ expensive consultants and come back again and again and eventually get their way, maybe with a slightly reduced scheme. Councillors are not NIMBYS they are not obstructing things at all - they are merely representing the views of their constituents. The planning system is actually pretty toothless even now. If anything it should be strengthened. It should be there to ensure that any new developments meet with proper standards and fit in with existing local plans. If you try to override local democracy (as Labour suggest and, regrettably, some Conservatives) then the foundations of the main parties (including the Conservative Party) will soon collapse as more and more independent councillors are elected. We need to have a grown up debate about how much immigration we can realistically accommodate in a tiny country like this. I think I'll start my own substack!

Expand full comment