Eco-workhouse

I’m on a rant, so bear with me…

Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, said that The Prince of Wales’ development Poundbury in Dorset owed more to “self-aggrandisement” than a concern for the residents who live there. Drawing comparisons between it and towns such as Bournville in Birmingham, constructed by factory owners to house workers locally.

Can she explain where HRH’s one village is different from the 15 proposed eco-towns being foisted upon communities by the government? Aside from the obvious one, people want to live in Poundbury.

When the eco-towns are forced into existing communities, bringing in huge numbers of people [allegedly 6,000 to 15,000 homes, so potentially 30,000 people) with insufficient facilities (nearest Accident & Emergency unit more than 10 miles away, nearest Police Station with 24hr staff and cells more than 10 miles away, nearest high school 3 miles away) [Yes, I’m talking about Middle Quinton, again…] and then forces them to surrender their cars by creating new traffic laws (forced 15mph speed limits) does she think this will be any better?

Poundbury had to meet local planning laws, and be approved by local residents. Middle Quinton can be forced onto a former military base and local protest counts for nothing. If the government, through Hazel Blears, must make pretentious and idiotic comments could they at least stick to something reasonable… maybe explaining why building new homes on a former military site (with rumours of ground contamination from munitions) makes more sense than retro-fitting existing homes in low income areas to be more environmentally sound. I remember driving through the deserted base housing estates of Lower Quinton shortly after the base shut, wondering why these perfectly good homes were allowed to fall into ruin when so many people in the area needed affordable housing.

The proposed eco-town looks like the kind of political planning that lead to the building of Milton Keynes. A modern day workhouse where every aspect of your life has been planned by a government approved urban designer who has just learned to draw with the wax crayons rather than eating them…

Hazel, shut it until you can think of something sensible to say.

Okay, I feel better now!

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