Monday, 18 November 2013

The future of Ulverston

I'd like to repeat my concerns about Persimmons building so many houses here in Ulverston.

Building new houses, in my view, poses a real threat to the future of Ulverston; far more so than the issue of a supermarket.

The concern is the type of houses that are built. It is inevitable that one type of house, in very broad terms, will attract a certain type of person. Ask yourselves, would you buy one of the Persimmons houses? Yes they satisfy the need for houses built to the minimum cost.

The probability is that Persimmons will be building all the new houses in Ulverston the future and that these will appeal to the naive. For example building three detached houses just one metre from each other, so that they can be called 'totally detached', as is being done here, leads to greater heat loss and more outside walls needing maintenance. A far superior design is terraced house with good insulation both heat and sound as has been built at the development that a friend has just moved to, at Halton just outside Lancaster. Please see to see what a difference well designed houses can look like.

If these type of houses were built here, you would attract a very different kind of person  to live in them.

The Persimmons houses are built to the absolute minimum building standards including poor heat insulation . The excuse if that they are more affordable. This makes a mockery of concerns about Global warming and energy efficiency. I understand that Scotland has set much higher minimum standards for Newbuild.

Another concern is that the purchasers are being persuaded to take on enormous mortgages which are just and so handleable as long as interest rates are low. What will happen if they rise? Will not a lot of people just walk away from negative equity leaving behind, depression and social unrest with empty houses. Will this country end up with lots of empty houses as has happened in Ireland?

Thirdly Ulverston needs to be able to make sure that small well designed flats are built for two groups of people: young single people and old people. Preferably new estates should cater for a mix of accommodation for all types of people rather than ghettos of a certain type of person as we have in Ulverston. Surely it is better socially and from a mental health point of view that people are all mixed together and housing, for instance, for old people is NOT all together. Whilst, young people live in other parts of townin small badly designed rented bedsits.

Lastly, great attention needs to be given to the road structure that provides access to new housing - in the particular case of Union Lane with the Hoad View development, we have the very poorly designed Mill Street and the junction at the bottom of Soutergate that will be used by those living in the new housing near here. This in addition to the blind corner at the junction of Union Lane and Stanley Street. Our roads are already under pressure. (Furthermore parking control on our streets is out of control because there are only four wardens for the whole of the SLDC area, now that it has been transferred to Cumbria County.)

Basically Ulverston people need to remain in firm control of how the town develops. At present one feels that big business has taken over because there is a reluctance / even fear of councillors taking planning decisions that will be challenged at a higher court because the local government have no funds for lawyers. This is what happened over the Hoad View decision when councillors on the planning committee explained to me that they felt they had no choice but to give in and vote contrary to their own judgement.

The way things are going I believe the people coming to live in the new housing are the type that will want the lowest possible price for commodities which plays straight into the hands of the large supermarket giants. The nature of our shopping environment will be under threat.

As Doris Lessing, who has just died, points out - our society is controlled by very carefully designed brainwashing techniques. Furthermore those that think a little 'out of the box' are in great danger of being targeted by the majority of the population because they are different as has already happened to some KUS supporters.

Disturbing thoughts for those that stop and reflect!

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