Small villages like the historic East Coker and Mudford on the outskirts of Yeovil, respectively slated to have 800 and 700 new houses built on greenfield sites and farmland, are just two examples of the inevitable local effect of reckless national policies. Central government must force local governments to meet unrealistic new homes targets with no regard to the cost on those living locally. Most places are affected: Yeovil has other large housing developments on its outskirts, as does Chard and Shudrick Valley in Ilminster – the list goes on.
Vastly increasing resident numbers spoils the character, practicality and desirability of the villages in terms of volumes of traffic, pressure on infrastructure, increased flooding risk, trampling over historic and beautiful areas – leading to a significant reduction in quality of life. Many of the new housing developments cram the houses in as tightly as possible – front gardens are often non existent, back gardens tiny, bedrooms and garages barely worthy of the name, little parking space and pavements and community facilities appear to be optional. Furthermore, public services are already stretched and therefore need more funding to support this – impossible with the national debt out of control. However the increase in the UK population is relentless, so the need for housing continues apace.
Many communities have banded together to save their local area from the developers. Year after year fighting planning proposals, taking legal action against their own councils, campaigning, enlisting the help of local councillors, MP and prospective MPs to fight their corner to push the mandated development into someone else’s backyard. Which sadly pitches village against village.
It is perplexing, however that the biggest reason behind the need for more housing development is at best side-lined or often ignored altogether in the debates and planning consultations. The national housing crisis is to a large extent directly related to, and exacerbated by, the uncontrolled immigration from the EU. It is important to recognise that the national situation affects us locally, as many newcomers to Somerset are doing so to escape the overcrowded cities that have experienced even greater population increases than the rural areas.
Even more baffling is the position of all of the prospective local politicians (except for UKIP’s) who must recognise that their support in the save our village campaigns is ultimately a futile gesture as their parties are pro EU. The EU freedom of movement and right of abode between for nearly half a billion people in the 28 member states between them is enshrined in EU, and therefore our, law. This is sacrosanct and will never be renegotiated: Merkel and Juncker have told the UK this on numerous occasions….not that anything can ever be renegotiated in the perennially undemocratic EU.
UKIP’s housing policy is therefore unique as it is the only one that can truly control the demand that behind the new housing developments blighting our villages and towns by exiting the EU and employing a sensible points based work visa and immigration policy. UKIP also recognises that more housing is desperately required, but the stated policy is to concentrate new development on brownfield land, therefore saving the villages and protecting the green belt.
With the UKIP policies in place, housing will become more affordable, adult children and boomerang graduates can finally leave their parents’ homes and gain independance, ‘generation rent’ have a better chance of become home owners, and growing families can upsize etc. Falling houses prices in some other EU states are of no benefit to those living in the UK.