In my opinon: There is no moral obligation to destroy the landscape
So Mr Nick Boles, the Planning Minister considers it a 'Moral duty to build homes' (WMN 11.1.2013) and that he will 'deploy moral pressure' to get critics to accept more house building, because Britain's shortage of affordable homes represents a 'crisis in social justice.'
I would suggest that it is a crisis in social justice when their Tory politicians come out with this 'verbal diarrhoea' which they know as well as we do, that it is not the truth.
Of course we are short of 'affordable homes' for our local people, but this is because developers are encouraged to build large housing estates and the majority of the houses are not affordable to local people, with a tiny percentage of so called 'affordable houses' for sale or rent. I quote an instance in my own area, 400 plus houses to be built on good quality agricultural land between Stratton and Bude by Bovis Homes Ltd when asked about 'affordable housing' a representative stated that in the first phase of 91 houses, six would be 'affordable' to be rented, at similar rates to local rents. Most local people in the Bude area cannot afford local rents, so these six houses are really going to make a massive difference to the 400 plus people on the waiting list for 'affordable' houses to buy or rent.
If developers cannot be made to provide a larger percentage of 'affordable houses' then I would suggest that it is the Government's responsibility to build 'affordable housing' for local people only, and cut out the developers, after all if this Government can find billions to give away to countries overseas, let them first consider their own people and their needs, this surely is their first responsibility.
Mr Boles demands that vast swaths of countryside be given up to house building, that this will solve the problem of locals being squeezed out of existing houses and cottages, if he was brought up in Devon he must know that this is not true, and he must know that the developers housing estates which local people cannot afford, will be bought up by people from the south East and similar areas, for retirement homes or second homes, how is that going to help the local people?
If Mr Boles thinks that people in Cornwall and Devon or other rural areas are going to be 'morally persuaded' that our beautiful countryside should be covered in vast estates or towns like Cranford, he has another thing coming, we will defend our countryside resolutely and robustly unless it has to be used for local people.
A further thought, if Mr boles covers our countryside in houses, how are the government going to feed the people of Britain? Farmers need land to grow food.
So please Mr Boles do not treat people living in rural areas as idiots, we know that what you are saying is not going to solve the problem. We may live in the countryside but we do not spend our time leaning over gates and chewing straw!