Letter: Housing - Countryside is being destroyed

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Within the coming years permission to build thousands of new homes will be given by HBC, all in treasured North Yorkshire countryside. All to satisfy policy.

A large percentage may never be built, but the ability to build will remain. After all we are told that there is a vast undersupply of new homes.

This undersupply has to be seen to be satisfied and on an annual basis, not a one-off situation. Thus our green fields will continue to be eroded over the years.

Currently HBC has no policy, thus there is no defence against landowners and national housebuilders’ approaches. It is literally like drifting back to the days of the Klondike.

Landowners and farmers are increasing their wealth overnight beyond their wildest dreams.

National housebuilders are replenishing their land banks, which in turn will underpin their balance sheets, again for years to come.

Green Belt is treasured, but it is valuable to the builders. More profit is made from green field sites as opposed to brown field and therein lies the problem.

Affordable housing, at least in any great meaningful numbers, is rarely built these days as it is simply not economical to do so, yet this is the area that is suffering from the biggest shortfall.

The policy dictates that for all the thousands of new homes to be built, a very large percentage of these must be classed as “affordable” or the equivalent sum for each property given to the respective councils, by builders and developers, for their loss of the same.

Council house building is a thing of the past. This was replaced nationally by housing associations who also happen to be struggling for financial support.

If the national builders are making substantial financial contributions to councils, in some cases millions of pounds, it begs the question as to where that money is being directed. Perhaps someone out there can enlighten us.

With regard to the green belt we must all wake up to what we are losing and giving away at a stroke, none of which can ever be replaced.

After all Yorkshire is God’s own county but it is being destroyed under our noses by politicians and councils.

Andy Butterfield

Follifoot