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When people think of what England looks like they will think of two things. The first being the diverse, busy cities such as London that are filled with large buildings and history. However, the other thought is the quiet quaint village in the rural areas of the nation such as the Cotswolds. On one side you have a place filled with young people who buy lavish cocktails and wear flash clothes. The other side is filled with the older generation who sit in a country pub with warm brown beer and talk about the good old days. However, the latter could soon be coming to an end. In this article we will explain what has those who live in the countryside worried.
Whats the Worry Among the Villages?
As most of us are aware there is a growing desire for more housing across Britain. This also coincides with an increasing population. This explains why the government is trying to achieve it’s target of building 340,000 homes every year to meet up with the demand. However, Britain is a small island and finding areas to build these new houses is creating a problem. England is known for it’s vast countryside and country villages but these may soon come under effect from the government’s target.
Greenfield sites, which are areas that have never been built on before, may soon have to be built upon. This means that villages will become larger in order to accommodate the new housing projects. One example of this is in Bicester in Oxfordshire doubling its population to 50,000 in the next 20 years.
Another issue with this target is that local councils are being given quotas on the number of houses being built. Because of these quotas councils are very keen to accept planning permission quickly and easily. However, the problem is that the area isn’t very lucrative to build on for property developers. This then results in a large chunk of these new houses being built simply being unaffordable.
How Do Village Residents Feel?
One of the main concerns among residents in these villages is that they feel they are losing their identity. These villages are usually filled with old fashioned buildings which is what attracts a lot of residents. With these new builds being built they will stick out like a sore thumb compared to these older styled buildings. The other problem is with these new builds is you do erode at these village’s identities.
One other issue with this increase in local population is that the villages won’t be able to handle this. In this part we shall use the example of Saxilby village in Lincolnshire. A new housing development has recently been completed of these newly designed eco-homes. Over the past few years nearly 1000 new houses have been built. Saxilby, like many others, is a small village that is a 20 minute drive away from Lincoln city.
With these new homes being built the residents are experiencing new problems regarding the services. There has been no increase in schools, doctors surgery or police which means that these services have been stretched thin. Another problem is that in Saxilby there aren’t many big roads and there has been a mass increase in traffic which has caused anger and problems among the local community.
What Does This Mean for the Government?
The main issue for the Conservative government is that these rural villages are the Conservative heartlands. This is where a large chunk of their voter base is from and if those in the villages aren’t happy with them then this spells trouble for the Conservatives. Local elections across the country are coming up on 5th May with many different councils up for election. The Conservatives’ standing in the polls has already taken a hit from “partygate” and this anger among Tory safe seats spells trouble. If village residents refuse to vote Conservative then the Conservatives will be in for a bad night on May 5th.
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