Housing land for people, not profit

8th Jun 2015

Paul Bedwell’s one-sided case (‘How to unlock our land’s potential’, Sheffield Telegraph, 28 May) for house builders to be given free rein to avoid brownfield locations and cherry pick the best greenfield sites needs answering. Perhaps we can start by agreeing that current housing policy isn’t working. From there our analysis differs. Housebuilders maintain that greater volumes are required yet fail to provide the real, low-cost starter homes that are desperately needed, especially in rural areas of South Yorkshire and the Peak District fringe. What we end up with instead is ‘prestige’ developments, usually insensitive to local vernacular or needs and certainly not sustainable in terms of the impact on local services and public transport. But no doubt very profitable for the developer. As a good example, this is precisely what will be foisted on the communities of the Loxley Valley if the controversial re-development of the Dyson’s factory site is given the go-ahead. For this reason, we will continue to campaign with local communities that they get the right housing, for the right people, in the right place. And certainly not in the most precious parts of Sheffield’s amazing green belt.