Ingoldisthorpe showing the way in development
Washed Up column, by Sarah Juggins
The Royal Family do not always get it right when they talk about how their subjects should live their lives.
Take one recent example: jet-setting Prince Harry’s exhortations for us mere mortals to cut down our air miles understandably had a lot of people accusing him of hypocrisy. But one royal who rarely speaks, but when she does she tends to make sense, is the Princess Royal.
I was reminded of a speech she gave a few years ago urging house developers to look at adding a few houses to each village rather than building completely new towns or cramming yet more people into our overcrowded cities.
Back in 2014, Princess Anne said: “Is it really necessary to build developments of up to 15,000 new houses? Doesn’t it make more sense to build small developments of between six and 12 homes scattered across villages?”
Her comments were in answer for the demand for 240,000 affordable homes across rural parts of the UK.
The proposal made all sort of sense to me then and it continues to do so. A few more houses in each village will push up the demand for better facilities.
Post offices, shops and pubs might find they have a sustainable consumer base. Buses or other forms of community transport could be in demand.
Mobile fish and chip shops or pizza vans would find their audience size increasing. Local events at the village hall or local playing field would be better supported.
So I am delighted to see that the village of Ingoldisthorpe is leading the way with an innovative and environmentally aware development of 12 new properties.
Innovative because the house buyers will have a say in the design. Environmentally aware because of the various pledges by the developers to include a large pond area to encourage wildlife; and the planting of native species of trees and plants.
Of course, for the development to succeed depends upon many things – not least the good will of all concerned.
The developers must hold good to all their promises, not least the promise to ensure that the affordable homes within the development are high quality and delivered according to the schedule.
The new home owners must be prepared to throw themselves into the local community. The worse outcome would be high fences, surveillance cameras and closed curtains for 48 weeks of the year.
The current residents must see the development as a forward-thinking project that the whole village should be proud of.
Really, what’s not to like. With this modestly-sized development, quiet, sleepy Ingoldisthorpe may just have provided a blueprint for the future.