Fringe Box



Letter: Homeowners Have Every Right to Defend Their Localities

Published on: 14 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 14 Apr, 2016

Revised Local Plan Jun 2016From Ben Paton

Mr C Dalby’s statement that ‘current homeowners should not block all development’, in his letter, Current Homeowners Should Not Block All Development, is a massive and untested presupposition.

I could write a letter saying that ‘modern men should not beat their wives’ and no doubt everyone would agree. But is there evidence that men, in general, beat their wives at all or any more now than in bygone times?

This sort of language is an unjustified slur on current homeowners.

Homeowners are entirely right to seek to have the facts verified and the law properly and impartially applied. Far from making them selfish it makes them good citizens. They have every right to defend their localities from unsustainable and inappropriate development.

Generally speaking, local people have smaller resources, less access to government and consulting advice and fight an unequal struggle with the ‘big money’ that often comes from abroad and is mainly motivated by making a big profit and then moving on.

It’s time local government started to stand up for local people rather than ill-conceived central government policies.

As for morality, yes there is an obligation on society to make decent homes available to people. That’s what council housing once did. There’s no moral obligation to provide homes for Eastern European migrants whose own countries are vast and underpopulated.

Mr Dalby should consult the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and evaluate how many homes are being planned for local people versus net international migration.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: Homeowners Have Every Right to Defend Their Localities

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    April 14, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    An excellent letter. I like particularly the last paragraph.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    April 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    One should also consider the effect of the referendum in June.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Ben, as usual, has brilliantly articulated the feelings of many defenders of the green belt.

    The new local plan barely differs from the old, and still includes the Wisley site, so resoundingly rejected by the council’s planners, as a complete non-starter.

    To what extent has the council really “listened to the concerns of residents”?

  4. Jenny Procter Reply

    April 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Very good article from Ben Paton. Especially when faced with yet another sea of shifting sands as laid out in the new draft local plan. Fact and fiction are very blurred. The possible and impossible hopelessly intertwined and reality a non starter.

    • Harry Eve Reply

      April 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Your comments on the Local Plan remind me of Alice in Wonderland. Very appropriate for Guildford, some might say, but I sense that many more councillors are beginning to see through the absurdities of the plan and perhaps they will start challenging the “evidence”.

      I agree that Ben Paton has a great way of expressing points with clarity and straightforwardness.

  5. Terry Stevenson Reply

    April 15, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    “…big money that often comes from abroad” and “…Eastern European migrants…”

    Are we really talking about homeowners’ rights to defend their localities, or is there a subtext that I should be reading?

    • John Perkins Reply

      April 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      It is unfair of Mr. Stevenson to suggest there is a subtext. Developers are attracted by very high prices which, for them, mean profits and two of the most obvious causes of high prices are the two issues mentioned. It would be absurd to disregard them as factors.

  6. George Potter Reply

    April 17, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I think the references to wifebeating in this letter are disturbing and could easily be misconstrued.

    Can I assume from the rhetorical question, “But is there evidence that men, in general, beat their wives at all or any more now than in bygone times?” Mr Paton believes either that domestic violence by men towards their spouses is now non-existent or that, if it is existent, it is nothing to worry about unless it’s become more common than in the past?

    My personal view is that perhaps Mr Paton would find people would take his views more seriously if he was able to express them without using this strange analogy.

    I’m fairly confident that most normal people would be alarmed by any wifebeating in the present day, regardless of how common it may or may not have been in the past.

    • Stuart Barnes Reply

      April 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Is this a serious reply? Surely it is meant as a joke?

    • Ben Paton Reply

      April 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Any reader with an ounce of common sense can see that I was not condoning domestic violence. There is no justification for any innuendo to that effect. Only someone with no common sense, like Frank Spencer, could get the wrong end of the stick.

      I was making a serious point about the effect of statements which lead the reader to a particular conclusion by including massive presuppositions. To say that ‘homeowners should not block all development’ is to imply that they do block all development. In fact, homeowners’ ability to block development is extremely limited.

      Mr Potter appears to think he has the right to limit other people’s freedom of expression and to dictate which analogies are politically acceptable to him. George Orwell called people who used such tactics the ‘thought police’ in his novel, 1984.

      Rather than seeking to imply that those who believe that home owners have a right to have planning rules properly and impartially applied also hold repugnant beliefs on other matters, he would do better to address the manifest deficiencies of the Local Plan such as the failure to disclose the demographic model on which it is based.

  7. Tony Edwards Reply

    April 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    We’re all, I’m sure, indebted to Mr Potter for his input but I suspect he may have spectacularly missed the point.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *