11:36am Thursday 28th June 2012
Sir – I am sure I am not alone in hoping for another letter from Justine Garbutt, identifying the ‘creative solutions for this current spike’ in housing demand which she puts forward as alternatives to large scale house building.
She quite correctly identifies the need for small homes and extra care units close to service centres to meet the needs of the growing number of elderly people. However, the signals from house prices and housing waiting lists, particularly locally, show that there is currently considerable unmet demand for family housing, and the pressure on maternity units and primary school places from an increased birthrate suggests that this will be more than just a spike in demand.
Here in Kidlington, the response to housing demand is a steady increase in density as backland is developed and properties on large plots are replaced by flats. There will surely come a point at which building on greenfield sites will become preferable to increasing densities.
It goes without saying that such development should be carefully planned and appropriate in scale, but we seem to be at risk of elevating the importance of preserving open countryside, not all of which is of high landscape value, over the need for an adequate supply decent, affordable housing for our people.
Henry Brougham, Kidlington
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