There will probably not be a lot of dissent if it is suggested that the lack
of affordable housing is among the most serious issues facing the nation. Even
when a new development is said to include affordable housing -
and there are not
many of those in Bexley - the need to have a £100,000 income to buy in
London is a very bad joke.
On average just over a third of my untaxed income has gone on supporting family mortgages and associated housing costs for each of the past five years and all there is to show for it is a 1950s council house. That sort of input goes a very long way towards driving the wolf from the door and results in a decent standard of living, but in principle it is all wrong. My father never gave me a bean but I owned four bedrooms, three reception rooms and two bathrooms on a Civil Service income by the time I was 32 with less than 50% of it mortgaged.
It is all so very wrong and politicians who fail to recognise it will one day pay the price. One can argue that it is all the fault of unfettered immigration if you like but that is not a solution. What is needed is more planning flexibility and probably lots of other things; I am a long way from being an authority on planning matters.
Back in the Summer I noticed one of those Planning Notices taped to a lamp post not all that far from home. It proposed that a four bedroom detached house be slightly extended and then divided into a three and a two bedroom semi with off road parking.
It looked like a possible win-win situation. Someone makes a bit of money and two families are housed instead of one.
At a bit of a loose end earlier today I checked Bexley’s planning portal to see what had happened to the idea. It had been initially rejected, appealed and then rejected again.
Without knowing the details one can only assume that there were valid reasons for the rejection but it looks like a missed a opportunity to me. I wondered how may people had similar ideas.
I found a few but all but one had been rejected. I tried to find out why and started to read the applications. One turned out to be more interesting than the others, the applicant was a Councillor, the name was clearly stated at the top of the application.
Above the signature was this declaration
Ordinarily I would be letting you know which Bexley Councillor made this elementary mistake but because of the perverse interpretation of the harassment laws by Kent Police I will have to cast doubt on the competence of every single one of them instead.
Sorry about that!