LETTER: Long term housing plan is needed

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Building more houses to satisfy the government’s demands to address the housing crisis might, on the face of it, seem a worthwhile objective. However, it is a short term solution to the symptom, without addressing the underlying cause.

Moreover, in the medium and long terms, it creates further problems in its wake.

Firstly, and most importantly, building more homes to house an ever increasing population, then trying to provide them with jobs, is not sustainable in the long term. There is no sign of a slowdown in the increase in the population, so the demand for more housing will never be satisfied. Few people seem to admit this is a problem, and no-one is prepared to tackle it. The question is, who is benefiting from continuing along this path?

Secondly, the infrastructure to support these new developments lags behind the developments themselves. 
This affects, in particular, hospital and GP waiting times, demand for school places, and traffic congestion. 
The cost of solving all of these comes from the public purse (you and me), while the new houses themselves provide a profit for the developer.

Ashfield District Council, as the housing authority, is obliged to provide the housing (and benefits by doing so in increased rates), yet is not directly responsible for providing any of the long-term infrastructure.

The NHS is responsible for the healthcare, the county council and the government are responsible for the schools, and the county council is responsible for the roads.

There is little co-ordination between providing housing for the increasing population, and providing the back-up services. This is obvious from the current pressure on all of the back-up services, never mind the additional pressure caused by the new developments.

It is time someone at government level started doing some long term planning and coordinating. Fat chance! So where does it all end?

John Nurse

Derby Road, Kirkby