Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fag-End Fascists Take One Last Swing At Guildford

A city targeted for significant change

Throughout the long dark night of socialist hegemony, the plucky folk of Guildford have stood tall. Their worldly goods may have been pillaged to fund the fatherland, their schools and hospitals may have been run down and closed, they may have been threatened with the installation of giant toxic waste incinerators, and their council may have been subjugated to direct Gauleiter rule. Yet despite all these grievous trials, they have never buckled.

But now, just when it seemed deliverance was at hand, they find themselves face to face with the ultimate Vengeance Weapon: the destruction of vast swathes of green belt land to accommodate the forced construction of thousands of new homes, and the designation of Guildford as a zone of "significant change".

"If the Government's regional plan has its way, the town of Guildford will extend another mile out into the Green Belt countryside. What is currently farm and woodland, laced with grazing cows, public footpaths, old oak and ash trees, will be transformed into a two -to-four thousand-home suburb with new access roads from the A3.

The small country station of Clandon will become a transport interchange. The 18th-century National Trust property of Clandon Park, noted for its white marble hall and its attractive gardens with parterre and grotto, will look out over the new sprawl of Greater Guildford. Guildford itself will be that little bit closer to joining up with Woking, and thus with a near-continuous line of development all the way up to London."

Now, let's be absolutely clear - the locals do not want this (well, they don't if we exclude the developers who've bought farmland in the expectation of cleaning up). The local council has launched a legal challenge to stop it, the local MP is opposing it, and local residents groups are up in arms.

The only reason the plan is even on the agenda at all is because Labour's entirely unelected regional planning quango says it has to happen.

Why does it have to happen?

Well, because there aren't enough houses.

And why aren't there enough houses?

Well, because some idiot allowed 3 million immigrants into the country in the last 12 years, and 75% of them have settled in London and the South East.

It's NIMBY to object?

Well, yes, it is... and your point? It's called my back yard because it is my back yard. It doesn't belong to some commissar to do with as he wishes. New housing development and planning generally should be under the control of locally elected councillors not quangocrats. Just like it always used to be.

True, the plan for Greater Guildford isn't actually going to happen. The Scots fascists will be out soon enough, and Guildford will live to breathe another day.

But we need to see Mr Cam actually delivering on those promises of localism pdq. We need to see him dismantling the instruments of state control, and handing real power back to local councils. Local communities should not be forced to accept huge irreversible changes to their lives just because of some fascistic masterplan dictated by Whitehall.

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