Soapbox Christopher Harris: New homes will be a disaster for the environment
I WRITE regarding the Derby Telegraph's story of September 5, "33,000 new homes for a city bulging at the seams".
This is a rather misplaced policy, given that much of the development will be on agricultural land at a time when the country is trying to become more dependent on locally-sourced produce.
Has the council considered how the people will be fed? Has it considered the benefits of locally-grown produce? This saves on transport, thus reducing the carbon footprint we are constantly being told about by the green lobby.
I would like to know how the council can justifiably balance these development proposals against its own "green agenda".
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It will inevitably increase the amount of carbon by increasing the need to transport food over hundreds or even thousands of miles, not to mention the carbon footprint of the development.
There is, of course, nothing new about these development proposals, as I am sure many will recall the late 1950s and 1960s when the Normanton and Litchurch (Arboretum) wards underwent major changes, with land clearances to make way for the inner ring road and housing for the intake of immigrants arriving from the Commonwealth.
At that time, many of the indigenous population moved out of the Arboretum and New Normanton areas to Allestree, Allenton, Mackworth, Littleover and Mickleover, where estates were being built across the green belt, swallowing up hundreds of acres of arable land. My family moved out of Normanton in the 1950s and took up residence at the new Allenton estate.
I moved back to Normanton 30 years ago, when it was a pleasant multicultural area, with few of the problems we experience today.
We seem to have come full circle as the descendants of the now, well-established, migrant families from the 1960s are moving out to the suburbs.
As the influx of European migrants continues to rise, bringing overcrowding and loss of social cohesion to the Arboretum/New Normanton wards, it is becoming preferable to sell up, even at a loss, and leave the area.
I do not know what acceptable solution there is to the housing problem – that is a different debate – but I am certainly against these ill-conceived proposals to build on the green belt with the destruction of yet more arable farmland.