BBC Sussex must act responsibly

GeorgeThis morning a tweet from BBC Sussex reports “There’s concerns there could be more houses built in rural Sussex after the Autumn Statement” the tweet links to a news report that refers to the very positive decision by the Chancellor to add additional stamp duty to the buy to let and second home purchases. As the budget goes this has to be one of the most creative and long awaited changes from the Chancellor in his 6th year in the role. The news report does not even refer to houses being built in rural Sussex and it is clearly good news for the whole nation if more homes are to be built. If these are badly built, or are built in areas that are environmentally or socially sensitive such as in the case of villages with over development, then of course there will be problems. However many parts of rural Sussex are crying out for more housing. It is inevitable that some homes are opposed by people who are already comfortably housed, but there is no way to force people back into caves and DIY bivouacs. Living in houses is what we do, and my children have as much reason to expect homes to be available to them and their families as the people who are already well housed. Indeed in the villages which have been decimated by second home owners who only visit their second home occasionally, the change to stamp duty has the potential to end that cancer, promoted by so many TV shows by presenters such as Kirsty Allsop. Second homes are an offense in a nation where there are over 1 Million families in inadequate housing so the BBC should be referring to the potentially good news for rural Sussex on the theme of housing. There are of course many other areas of concern for rural Sussex following the Autumn Statement such as deep cuts to local government, but housing is not one of them.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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2 Responses to BBC Sussex must act responsibly

  1. Peter Grace says:

    A rather biased and simplistic viewpoint of housing within the rural environment from someone who lives in a large city.
    I live in a village that has changed out of all recognition by nearly doubling in size to the point it has virtually become a commuter/ghost village during the week. Local associations and clubs, like our Residents’ Association which has folded, have huge problems in keeping going because none of the new villagers want to be involved in village life.
    One of the major issues with housing is the large number of foreign investors who buy up large numbers of new build properties in London, and elsewhere, and then leave them empty as an investment for four to five years before then selling them on – this could have been addressed and was not … there are other issues rather than a simplistic ‘build more houses’ and become ‘holier than thou’ and accuse others who live and care about our rural countryside of NIMBY-ism.
    I agree we need more homes but there must be a better way than changing our villages, rural lifestyle and our rural economy by swamping them with thousands of houses for affluent people trying to escape the big cities, etc.

    • ianchisnall says:

      Hi Peter, I don’t think are arguments are very different. Although I certainly live in a city in name, it is a only a modest sized conurbation. I may not have expressed the breadth of my ideas, but my comments were addressed to Radio Sussex that appeared to have misread its own news article. Whatever the strengths of the blog, my views are neither biased, nor simplistic. There are some inevitable losses of engagement as communities grow, and the speed of the growth also has an impact. Sadly the Nimby approach tends to lead to long periods of no development until the pressure gets too intense. I would certainly not be arguing for inappropriate levels of development. in any area. However the gaps are now so huge we also need new towns and even cities which creates enormous problems of social engagement.

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