LETTER: Housing - just a hotbed of angst

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Among, no doubt, many other readers I received a mailing in the post last week. At first, I thought it was a missive from a fundamentalist religious sect predicting the end of civilisation as we know it (unless you join their cause of course).

Well, not quite. Merely a publication from the local branch of a well known political party. Not following national official policies though surely?

An otherwise very good publication was spoilt by the usual dire predictions over possible new housing developments in the town. The Dales area has actually had very modest population growth in the last couple of decades. 
Tansley (a hot bed of angst, it appears) has actually experienced a population decline.

It seems, at times, that for some people any sort of change and development is not welcome. New housing, infrastructure investment, airport expansion, new roads in many areas get the thumbs down. Major supermarkets also. Even fast food outlets! However, charity shops and cafes are fine of course.

If the new developments go ahead ( don’t gamble your money on it), we will still be blessed by significant amounts of greenfields and open spaces to enjoy. Isn’t it true that nationally we inhabit only about 12% of the land space?

Political parties, local authorities financial bodies have not served us well, in regards to housing provision.

Lack of funding to maintain council housing, the Right to Buy without replacing stock disaster, a poorly regulated private landlord housing sector. The increase in the Buy to Let sector, driving up prices, reducing availability. So little chance for many people to get on the housing ladder.

In the Matlock area, much store is placed on ‘developing brownfield sites first’. But many of these have been available for years without being progressed. If a lack of new investment in the area is allowed to happen, what will local councillors do when retailers move their businesses away and other possible investment is discouraged. We don’t want to follow Belper’s example which resulted in a much needed by pass and other developments (and jobs) being shelved.

Roads will not be gridlocked (people should travel to and from urban areas to experience real gridlock).

Two final thoughts:

-Heed good estate agent advice ‘never buy a house for its views’.

-Most of us are living and enjoying properties that were formally on greenfield land.

Johnty Lowe

Matlock resident