In the good old UK and particularly in Wales, we have loads of by-laws, laws, and regulations to keep us all happy. One of these fields is Planning. That seems to be designed to make as much money for Councils as possible. No friends, it is not for your benefit as a citizen of your area. That is what they want you to believe. Don’t fall foul of political talk. I live in an area that is called the Rhondda. Once the world’s supplier of steam coal to power ships, trains and in so doing make it possible to travel and trade with the rest of the world. Today that has, as we now know, helped to heat up the atmosphere because of increased CO2.
So, what then about planning? Well, you only have to listen to central government and their ideas. Opening up the countryside because yes, we all know we need 2 million new homes.
It is plainly ridiculous. If we only just control immigration properly, then we would not now be one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. I am not saying we should stop immigration, it has its good sides but to just have open borders is plainly unsustainable. We cannot and should not concrete over vast swatches of green fields just so that every Tom, D*ck and Harry can tip-toe over and demand a proper three-bed room council house.
Councils take the easy route, certainly those in Wales seem to do. They have beautiful ideas like LDPs (Local Development Plans) I have seen one in my area and indeed it has already attracted development plans. Development plans that take no notice of water problems due to increased heavier rainfall, no notice at all of increased car usage and associated problems like PM (Particle Matter) in which the size 2.5 is a big problem causing bronchial disease, asthma among others. I have taken measurements with my PM detector and frequently we go over the 30 ug/m3, sometimes as much as 50! That is more than the WHO says is acceptable.
I would say nothing is acceptable but certainly no-one listens in the hallowed halls of government. We are stuck in the old stop-gap government style. You know it as ‘We have a problem, we solve the problem, that brings three new problems, we solve them, that bring 200 new problems. We go home now and kick the dog’. That’s our planning system. In one way we pay lip service to global warming because we just work on today’s problems like housing. Forgetting that it will just increase CO2 and water effluent.
The small river behind our house is no longer small. Thanks to increased rainfall and increased run-off from the new housing estates. No one thinks about how the medical services, doctors, dentist have to cope. To obtain an appointment takes quite a time, if you’re lucky. Planners do not seem to concern themselves with such problems, it’s nothing to do with them. The planet is presently at a fork in the road. Make a bad decision and take the right fork and we all die. Take the left and our grandchildren will live. Remember that when next voting for your preferred councillor, is he or she the right one? Don’t worry about political parties. They rarely do anything that benefits the population at large. Sorry to be so exhaustive, but it is important.