NO SOONER do we get to know that the Middle Deepdale housing estate is about to land in Eastfield’s lap then some other ward councillors are baying for a slice of the profits! (‘Middle Deepdale funding agreed’, Evening News, January 13).
For respectable councillors to suggest that any profit from this project be directed anywhere else other than Eastfield is abhorrent and bordering on the obscene. Without the necessary inward investment, Eastfield would not be able to cope with such an influx of population, and not one penny should go to Filey, Woodlands, any other council ward or regeneration project other than into Eastfield itself.
I also hope that those responsible in our council chamber set aside an appropriate proportion of this substantial windfall to invest in additional amenities for Eastfield and also to compensate those who are adversely affected by this plan like those whose property values plummet as a result of it, those who suffer from the inevitable increase in crime, noise and pollution, and those people of Eastfield who have to share their already inadequate facilities and jobs with an effective doubling of the local population. It is obvious that to cater for the extra population, additional infrastructure will have to be invested in from extra buses and school transport to more refuse wagons and landfill facilities, and account taken for the additional strain put on local public servants, local NHS services, the police, schools, local employment and more, so where will the money come from at this time of recession, austerity and government funding cuts? After all, 1,200 houses equates to an increase of 4,000 people or more, where will they all work and go to school I wonder?
It has to be remembered that this housing policy was forced upon us by a poorly conceived central government plan, a decision that was made at a time of wealth, increased immigration and healthy employment. This of course was before the world banking crash, the subsequent severe mortgage and lending restrictions, the haemorrhaging of immigrants back to their homelands and the national austerity measures that have seen other similar housing projects in the UK fail miserably. Houses that no-one can buy because they can’t get a mortgage, houses that squeeze large families into the tiny rooms of so called “affordable housing” at unaffordable rents, houses that remain unsold and subsequently become vandalised squats and drug dens. I sincerely hope that the building of the Middle Deepdale estate does not mirror the degradation, misery and squalor of the recently built Northern Ireland estates.
Considering that outline planning permission for the Middle Deepdale housing project is yet to be sought and that we have not yet had our democratic chance to object to (or indeed support) this plan, isn’t it somewhat suspicious then that the council appears to be already carving up the profits and ringfencing the spoils? This is despicable and pretty well confirms that just like Cayton and Scalby, the Middle Deepdale housing plan is yet again a “fait accompli”, that the planning process is a sham and is indicative of the council’s flippancy to any public objections submitted.
Be of no doubt then that the building of this potential slum will go ahead this year no matter what. After all, for the first time I can remember, the farmer hasn’t planted a crop in the Middle Deepdale fields this year and that pretty well says it all!