Reply to Ian Johnson’s “Bridport News” letter…….

(Please note, this is NOT Ian Johnson who owns West Road garage, West Allington. Amended 29/6/2017)

I wish to object to Mr Ian Johnson’s letter entitled Too Selfish. Firstly, I presume he did not attend the recent Town council (13/6/2017) meeting to which he refers, but justifies his sentiments by his perusing of the photos printed in the Bridport News. I found his comments unpalatably ageist ! He and the youth of Bridport have had their chance to comment on this development at that meeting, but for some reason they chose not to. Furthermore, if he had attended the discourse, he would have heard that mature residents are very much in favour of providing low cost housing, in fact low-cost being the ONLY caveat as to not totally objecting to any new builds ! Note, I do not refer to low-cost as affordable as affordable dwellings (at 80% of the market price) are still outside the range of most of our young and destitute residents. Mature retirees having zero or very little remaining mortgage have achieved their aspirational goal of completion of their loan, some years later. I for one struggled to pay my mortgage at very high interest rates (15% in the early 1980’s) and the concomitant high income taxation.
I do admit that it is now prohibitive for the young and destitute folk to get a foot on the housing ladder but this is due to government policy not the legacy working people of the past. House prices in this country (particularly in London, the feeder venue for Bridport purchasers) have escalated NOW due to the inept monitoring by HMRC who have failed to address and omit the generation of legislation to combat the presence non-dom house purchasers, many of whom never occupy, but just await the expected price increase, then sell and avoid payment of CGT !
Furthermore, is Mr. Johnson aware that SHMA housing figures are inflated to the extent of 30% (figures from the Office of National Statistics and Campaign for the Protection of Rural England).
The building of more open market housing in our locale, will not fix the current [national] housing crisis !
What is very obvious is that Mr Johnson is rather deluded regarding his bizarre objections; he cites and states dog walking and spoiling [desecration] of the countryside. However, it is the more significant argument against the proposed traffic access, pedestrian & cyclist safety and the perceived flooding issue(s),that are the key objections.
The argument therefore should be holistic not iterating mono or dual specifics, as there are several pertinent issues in this complex, local housing situation.
There is a very apathetic attitude conveyed by Bridportians, across the whole demographic that is tangibly exemplified by those, supporting the development of Vearse Farm NOT convening meetings to express that view, en masse. It is a sad indictment that younger residents do not publically express their views, at the aforementioned meetings, than that only on social media.
So Mr Johnson, if you wish to support Vearse Farm development, may I suggest you undertake some reading and research as many of us have over the past 4 years, in our campaign group, ADVEARSE and then have your say at the council meetings and not denigrate campaigners, who truly care about the future of our town, in the local press.

Richard Freer

One thought on “Reply to Ian Johnson’s “Bridport News” letter…….”

  1. We suggest you have a look at the CPRE website and its recent publications . They give a devastating critique of flawed targets and the failings of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) .
    Across the country and indeed across the political divide it is now understood that massive market led housing scheme like Vearse farm will not address the priority housing needs. A return to local authority housing and smalller scale schemes by Community Land Trusts should be encouraged in areas where there is the greatest need .
    VF is typical of developments of the last 30 years which encircle many towns but have been largey taken up by incoming retirees and second homers .

    ADVEARSE continues to support housing development at a sustainable level in West Dorset which is in sympathy with the character of the area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.