Fringe Box



Letter: We Are Not Haughty Horsley – But Have You Ever Walked Along Merrow Lane In The Spring?

Published on: 16 Jul, 2014
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2014

Gosden HillFrom Jim Allen

I take extremely strong exception to Mr Knight’s comments on Susan Parker’s letter: Green Belt Development Is Not The Answer.

He wrote: “So the only option is to build more to satisfy demand and, yes, this means green belt. But not any old green belt, areas with no landscape value like Gosden Hill and Manor Park should be used – not the Chantries or Merrow Downs which have been classified as AONB.”

Has Pete Knight ever walked Merrow Lane in spring listening to the overpowering bird song, even when the A3 is at its loudest? Still the birds are louder. Has he ever actually stood and looked across the fields of waving corn on Gosden Hill Farm and wondered how wonderful nature is? Has he every considered who has ridden on horseback along Merrow Lane since the 1500s?

Another part of Gosden Hill.  Worth saving?

Another part of Gosden Hill. Worth saving?

The people of Burpham may not have the money and knowledge of the haughty Horsleys or the crying Clandons – but we have some up front, in your face, real nature in our ward. Not stand back, don’t touch and look from afar.

If Mr Knight wants to buy homes at low cost then look at the reality of what your parents’ generation is doing. Are they selling their homes for a ‘reasonable price’ to those in need or are they selling to the highest bidder? What would he do?

The reality of the UK housing problem is that it requires a change in legislation not the building of more homes.
For instance:
– P45 or P60 for proof of earnings for a loan
– Loans only 3.5 times joint earnings
– Any house purchase must be occupied as a primary residence or let out with certified 12 months tenancy.
– Profit from the sale of a home can only be 1% per year over inflation for each year of occupancy.

I realise this is radical, but radical it what is required. Not just for me, or for Mr Knight, but for his children and future generations. Building in the green belt or sites carefully designated SNCI, SEA, AW, ANOB or SSCI is not the answer.

And finally, understand what would become our reality if everything happens according to the draft Local Plan: there will be between 5,500 and 9,000 additional vehicles on Burpham roads per day with no infrastructure planned.

Is that what Mr Knight really wants?

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