Under the guise of building ecologically friendly “garden villages” and “eco towns” government has given approval to the development of many sites in or near areas that developers covet*.


Housing minister Gavin Barwell makes the announcement

Though people on council housing registers everywhere are the ones in real need, they will not be able to live in these homes. Our plutocracy legislates for corporate builders and political beneficiaries.

At least Long Marston in the West Midlands, with its closed railway line, MoD site and airfield is a brownfield site. It remains to be seen which of the former applicants: St. Modwen Properties and/or The Bird Group of Companies Ltd, or CALA Management Ltd will be given the development brief.

One commentator estimates that the proposed funding going towards developing the new villages is at best £600 per property – after admin costs, £200 per property. Another puts the figure as low as £125 per property – just about enough to cover the cost of the brochures and nowhere near enough for the planning fees.

Jeremy Corbyn’s housing report recognises the housing crisis in Britain as a humanitarian crisis: homelessness, overcrowding, poor quality housing affecting people’s health, young people not being able to afford to leave home and live independently. Its welcome proposals are comprehensive and egalitarian.

*Long Marston, Warwickshire; Oxfordshire Cotswold, West Oxfordshire; Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire; Culm, Devon; Welborne, Hampshire; West Carclaze, Cornwall; Dunton Hills, Essex; Spitalgate Heath, Lincolnshire; Halsnead, Knowsley; Longcross, Runnymede and Surrey Heath; Bailrigg, Lancaster; Infinity Garden Village, Derbyshire; St Cuthberts, Cumbria; and North Cheshire.