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Comment - Local Stuff

More on Housing by David Flint

It seems that housing was Enfield's issue of the month for April. Meetings and letters to the local papers have opposed development along the North Circular as well as at Cat Hill roundabout (See, eg, The Advertiser for 3rd May. Though each scheme and protest has its own history and specific concerns there are several common objections:

  • Local opposition to high density housing and tall blocks of flats.
  • Inadequate provision of school places and medical facilities for the additional people who will move in.
  • Additional congestion on roads.
These are valid objections. The Council should certainly not give planning permission for new housing until it has a plan for the necessary additional facilities (I got applauded for saying this at a meeting in Bowes on March 13th).

But none of this is new. The development of Highlands Village has led to 50% expansion of the three nearest primary schools and twice daily congestion on World's End Lane.

Yet there's a problem here for any decent person. The population of our country (and our borough) is increasing through both births and migration whilst the building of houses and flats has slumped. With incomes falling and inequality increasing houses and flats are unaffordable to many young people. We need a lot more homes and they have to go somewhere!

A Green government (I can dream, can't I?) would address this problem by house building, personal taxation, the Living Wage and other policies, yet a long-term solution requires action on population as well (which brings me back to my previous theme!)

First published in the EGP members newsletter, May 2013

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ