So the good news is we are all living longer lives. That combined with years of open borders mean more people now live in the UK. Whilst most British people have around 2-3 children, for many nationalities arriving into the UK, generally opt for bigger families, and it is not uncommon to see 5-6 children as an average. This is a fact. The reality is everyone has to live somewhere.
Unless you live on the moon, I am betting that you have numerous new housing estates being built around you where you live, commute and work. Ironically most of the ones that have been erected in my village are opposite the flood warning sign! I’m not quite sure how competitive rates are for getting house insurance when many of the houses are by a stream that floods goes. As if that isn’t enough, on one of the estates the drains cannot cope with all the new people, and regularly comes up producing a horrible stink.
So what is the answer? Well, we build more houses of course! Everyone has to live somewhere. Near to where I work two new housing estates have gone up. One is near completion and is vast. I have lost track of just how many houses and flats it holds, all of which are sold before even being completed. The only time driving the last part to work isn’t a complete bottle-neck is when the school holidays happen, but even with this, at least some of these new houses travelling this way, will mean the bottle-neck returns all year round.
As if that isn’t enough, there is also another estate which is well underway – a further 750 houses being erected. Funny how the environmentalists seem mute over losing every green area, every tree to make way for more houses. Perhaps they are too disillusioned to oppose. The road has been changed for these extra houses, to allow an extra roundabout, which in the dark with all the cones dotted over the half completed track, is rather terrifying, but hopefully this will be lit up on completion.
So 750 houses. If each one only has 2 residents, then that’s an extra 1,500 people, and the reality is many of these will be family homes, so a lot higher numbers. If each house has 2 cars, then that’s a lot of extra rush hour traffic.
But what I don’t get, is where is the infrastructure for all this? It seems to be the same as the NHS problem; just throw another billion at it each year and expect it to sort the problem out. I suppose thinking about it like that, it’s easy to see why no one has thought about the implications of all these extra houses.
I have asked if there were any new services being setup for all these new houses. I was told the 750 strong estate was getting a new school. That was it. Where I live work is incredibly limited; charities, retail or financial institutions form the majority of this. Unless you are a laptop and wifi and you can work anywhere person or retired, I don’t know where all these people will find work. It means a good few hours a day on the road, best case scenario, and then that increases the eco footprint with all those additional cars.
Not even a corner shop is being erected, and I wonder why. A Co-op or an M&S Food shop could be good for newspapers, milk and a pizza dinner type shopping. Instead it means jumping into the car and heading into the town. It’s too far to walk especially with shopping.
Then there’s the school situation. Many of the main property sites like Prime Location now have a section specifically on schools in the catchment area of the houses, they have selling. I don’t think new developments have this. Taking into account we always see parents struggling to get their children into good, local schools, this can only be worsened by new estates. This works for both the current and new people. When parents can put down their first 4 school options and get rejected on all of these, this is a big issue, which sees many parents having kids at different schools, sometimes in different counties. It also makes the school holidays near impossible to arrange when different schools have different term dates.
Then there’s health. It’s difficult enough already trying to get a doctor or dentist appointment, and with no new surgeries being built, this only means more delays in being treated, and this extends to the hospitals. At some point some of these new housing estates will have someone who got hit by a car, someone who fell off a ladder, an over-exuberant would be chef losing a tip of their finger, or a woman in labour. All have to be seen and helped without any additional services.
And lastly, yes I’m going to say it; the prisons. With more people inevitably means more crime. It is sadly a numbers game, a fact of life. I’m certainly not suggesting the sort of people who would buy a 4 bed house on a new estate would be the ones to go round and burgle any houses, but still, more people create more problems. To date I have not seen any new prisons or hospitals built for a long time and this seems crazy to me. If more were being built, it would create employment, lesson the pressure on the current services and mean everyone would be safer and healthier. That has to be good.
I do wonder however why some areas currently in the middle of no where are not being used. Surely it is better to create new towns where currently there is nothing. If there were good connections for work, I’m sure very quickly a few local amenities would be setup. It would also mean people not living on top of each other. Is it just me who thinks this is worth a try?