Time to build affordable homes for local people
Sir, - Your article about the housing crisis in Perth and Kinross (July 11) is inaccurate.
The report was driven by Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, a trade body with a vested interest in acquiring land and planning permission for the land.
I would like to point out that the only housing crisis in this area is from a shortage of affordable houses.
There is enough land in the area with planning consent to allow the county to grow at a sustainable level.
The developers just need to build the houses at prices local people can afford.
Wages in Perth and Kinross are 7% below the national average, local industry seems to be contracting, with no word of any major investment.
So where are the jobs that go with these houses?
There is probably permission to build more than 10,000 new houses within a 15-mile radius of Perth.
The crisis is in small communities being overwhelmed by major developments, while young couples both working on minimum wage still can’t afford a home.
If there was a demand for houses the new village at Oudenarde between Bridge of Earn and Abernethy would be being built.
In Auchterarder, two of the three large developers have sold more houses to housing associations than privately in the last 12 months.
Some of these houses were originally marketed as private houses, but when they didn’t sell were sold as social housing.
As for the benefits the new housing brings – it can bring some, but it can also bring disadvantages.
The promises of new play parks, sports facilities, new roads, no disruption to existing residents and enhancing local facilities – all part of the original planning application and consultation with existing residents, are omitted by the time construction starts.
Changes are made behind closed doors, so even if you agree with the new houses as local services are being improved, there is little chance of the improvements happening unless they are there before the houses are built.
These developers also bring their contractors with them – they do not create local jobs.
Increased council tax revenues also brings increased costs, so the benefits are minimal and when the council seems hellbent on wasting money on daft ideas, giving them access to more money is pure folly.
When the council starts trying to attract quality jobs to the area, that could push up wages.
When the council spends money on infrastructure, that will enhance the area for existing and new residents, making the area a better place in which to live and work.
Lots of people would like to live and work in the county.
The number of new houses proposed, with no new infrastructure and jobs, means these new residents will only be sleeping here.
The current council plan seems to want to kill the town of Perth and then suffocate the rest of the county with new houses.
George Mailer. 16 Hunter Street, Auchterarder.
Many developers bring their own contractors from outside the area.