Why these homes?

SIR - Does Miss McEvoy live in the same Hertfordshire as the rest of us? We must she writes back plans for 36,000 new homes in The Comet area because they will bring jobs, skills, new transport and water infrastructure and of course the modernised Lis

SIR - Does Miss McEvoy live in the same Hertfordshire as the rest of us? "We must" she writes "back plans for 36,000 new homes in The Comet area" because they will bring jobs, skills, new transport and water infrastructure and of course the modernised Lister Hospital will be able to cope with the additional demand from up to 100,000 new residents.

Dream on! Ten thousand of these new homes will be in Welwyn GC, where the QEII is to be closed. There are no plans to increase capacity on the already horribly crowded commuter trains into London. Problems of water provision in one of the driest areas of the UK have yet to be addressed and more jobs and growth for Hertfordshire? Why increase employment in what is already one of the wealthiest and crowded counties in the country, which enjoys almost full employment?

No one believes there should be no new building in the county, particularly of affordable housing. As Miss McEvoy points out there are over 3,000 people on Stevenage's housing list. So why are 16,000 new homes planned? This is clearly not about addressing local need and neither is it the end of the story as boundaries are to be redrawn to allow further growth after 2021. Bizarrely a year or so back the then Deputy Prime Minister announced the destruction of up to 400,000 houses in the north of England. Surely if investment and new skills are needed anywhere it is there. In Scotland the population is declining, yet still growth is centred on the south east corner of England!

GREGOR LAING


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Milestone Road

Knebworth

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SIR - It appears that Mrs Follett is determined to tear the heart and soul out of this county.

After launching the Plan to build more than 36,000 houses in Comet country, Mrs Follett stated ('New homes plan slammed' Comet, May 15) that she was "personally determined that we are not going to change the face of this green and pleasant region". Surely building tens of thousands of houses on Greenfield sites in Comet country cannot do anything else but change the face of this region? What does she take us for - complete idiots?

Where is the wisdom and commonsense in building: a) on good agricultural land when there is a world shortage of food, b) in an area where there are serious problems with water quality and supply and c) where air and noise pollution are already giving cause for concern? Also, why build 16,000 houses around Stevenage when the local need is for 4,000?

Mrs Follett has been taken in by the construction industry whose only concern is making as big a profit as possible. She is the one who has buried her head in the sand by ignoring the very serious adverse effect of such an unsustainable building programme on our future health and well-being. If she (or anyone else for that matter) had to put into an order of importance the following: clean air, good soil to grow our food, a house, uncontaminated water supply; I wonder what she would put. If I had to do it then the house would be fourth on the list because without the other three I would have nothing. You cannot buy good health.

Mrs A PALMER

High Street

Codicote

SIR - Statistics tell us that the birth rate in the UK of the long term indigenous people has been falling for some years and is likely to continue in the future.

So it must be asked who are all these houses for which Louise McEvoy welcomes into the region. One requirement might be for all those single people who want to live alone short or long term. Then there is the need for housing the migrants who will be attracted to areas of greater development. Further, there is the attraction of our at present attractive region for those who wish to leave such places they consider no longer desirable.

In a country, and particularly a region that, apart from Monaco, is the most densely populated in Europe, we should be asking how we can keep a check on the excessive building proposed to enable us to attempt to achieve a better living for those already suffering due to the density exemplified by our traffic excess.

If those such as Louise McEvoy have their way, ever more house building will be required again at a later date to accommodate the ongoing demand from an ever greater population. How then does she see the future effect in the region on the quality of life for our children and grandchildren?

IVAN MARTIN

The Limes

Hitchin

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