The National Housing Federation held an event at the House of Commons earlier this week to highlight it's Save our Villages Campaign. One of the speakers was a young woman from Fakenham who spoke about being unable to live in Brancaster,the village where she grew up, due to the high prices of homes in the area.(see EDP article)
According to Sue Chalkley the chair of the National Housing Federation’s Rural Alliance “The average rural house price in England is now more than twelve times the average salary of people living in rural areas. In order to obtain a mortgage, a person living and working in the countryside would need to earn £66,000 per year. As we all know, the average rural salary is far below that – in fact, it is around £20,000.
This affordability gap is pricing our children out of the villages they grew up in. It also has grave consequences for the services we rely on, like the local school, shop or pub. A lack of young families means fewer people requiring their services, and makes their existence less viable.”
Stop Norwich Urbanisation has always urged local councils to adopt a more dispersed strategy for the building of new homes and work places thereby allowing villages and towns to flourish and grow. The proposed Rackheath eco-town (oops, low carbon community) and nearby new developments in the so-called Growth Triangle will be built at the expense of Norfolk’s villages and towns and also of future generations who would prefer a more rural way of life. Planners might prefer to attempt some social-engineering to satisfy their aspirations and the developers certainly will not make as much money from these much smaller developments but the villages themselves will prosper which is surely more important.