Blame lies with those at the top

Your correspondent in last week’s edition drawing attention to the major developments in the Whitnash area, bringing about a massive unwanted future strain on infrastructure with all it’s many facets was absolutely right with his or her analysis in pointing this out. Anyone residing or passing through the area regularly will recognise the conversion to urban from semi-rural that such developments inevitably entail.

It is very fair comment to state ‘we ain’t seen nothing yet’ in changes that are going to affect us all. It is also fair to state that it is quite wrong to heap the blame on Warwick district’s Local Plan as it is self evident that the demands from the powers that unfortunately be, mean that the local plan options are very limited and essentially restricted to not how many houses but where in a fairly confined area they are located. Their ‘kissing cousins’ at Stratford District have broadly similar problems and the two local plans together demand between them a colossal increase in housing stock in the area.

Blame for this mess needs apportioning on those that have held the real levers of power over many decades. Even now as we use building houses to both provide housing for those already here and inevitably those who soon will be and to keep the economy reviving we are repeating the mistakes of the past on a potentially larger scale.

Building houses can only ever be a kick starter for the economy and not in itself a sustainable one as once built they provide living accommodation not ongoing trading and job generating businesses. It is true that building the houses will necessarily bring the inevitability of new schools and hospital facilities which will provide jobs but sadly not the means to pay for it all.

Last week’s budget has drawn comment much of it not unfavourable but frankly some of it should be dismissed for the smoke and mirrors that it is. All those economic forecasts stretching five years ahead? They have as much or as little chance as the met office have of forecasting accurately the weather in each of those years.

I do despair when politicians push their chests out and state that the UK has every prospect of having a larger economy than Germany in the not too distant future. This hypothesis is based on the likely demographic graph changes engineered by immigration of young people to these islands, who will of course have children. Well thanks senior politicians but to my way of thinking an economy supporting a population of 80 million rather than 60 million needs to generate a GDP 33.3% more merely to stand still and frankly standing still in ever more congested towns and cities is not an enviable prospect and if truth be known probably not one welcomed by the existing population.

Quality of life is not one that sits alongside GDP in perfect harmony. With such an increase in the national population comes justification for building what should be a white elephant i.e. HS2 with all the disruption and lack of lasting benefit to this area. HS2 will need ongoing subsidies to keep the trains running, so again the jobs created by the project are in many ways on the wrong side of the national balance sheet.

Planning authorities can often be legitimately criticised but on the issue of 25,000 houses that are going to be built in mid-south Warwickshire in the next couple of decades it is not fair to lay the blame at their door. The real culprits are those that have guided or misguided the country and arguably the continent of Europe over the last half a century.

J H Pearce, Church Lane, Lighthorne