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I’m sorry – do you understand what you just said?

A while ago, I attended a public consultation for a small, mixed-tenure development of houses in a Devon Village.

As always, the views were mixed with the majority being negative.  But I particularly struck by the strong views of one lady who actually took me to one side to make the point that “we do not need affordable housing here because all of our young people move away”

Fortunately, I was able to refrain from the impulse to say “Duh!”  Instead, I politely asked the lady to think about what she had just said and diplomatically suggested that surely this was the very reason the village needed the affordable housing.

I left the meeting feeling that surely there should be some kind of process for Parish councils to be able to highlight where people have to leave villages because they have no financial option.  I wonder if people realise just how important it is to share this with our councils, so that they and everyone else, really get the picture of what is going on.

Written by Matthew Payne

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