A huge amount of development is taking place with further proposals in the pipeline around the town of Shaftesbury. So much so that if it all goes through – which it appears the Conservative council will nod through – the number of houses in this small ancient Saxon hilltop town will have increased by 50% compared to what it was just two decades ago. The proposals now build the urban sprawl right up to and over the county boundary into Conservative controlled Wiltshire.
Similar massive increases have taken place in nearby towns and indeed towns all over Dorset and counties all over the south. In the Rochester by-election the local Tory council have approved a controversial development of some 5,000 houses in the middle of a bird sanctuary on a site called Lodge Hill, fiercely opposed by UKIP campaigners.
The sheer scale of these developments is clearly not primarily to provide for local housing needs. The population of the UK is rising – annual net migration increasing by the size of the population of Southampton. This creates a huge demand for more housing, with a domino effect in all districts, and North Dorset, along with all the other districts and towns in this area are being told by Government to take its share.
Faced with strong local opposition to these developments in green belts of land around our towns, it highlights that the policy of uncontrolled mass EU immigration – engineered by Labour, robustly supported by Lib Dems and delivered by the Conservatives is not working for local communities in Britain. Everywhere in our rural communities the theme is the same: our rural settings are being ruined forever, and there is little or no infrastructure provision. Local schools are packed to breaking point, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get appointments at doctors surgeries, car parks overflow, there is a lack of local jobs for the new houses being built, and local democracy is frankly non-existent.
UKIP is the only party to recognise the problem, and provide real solutions: take control of immigration, introduce legally binding local democracy that cannot be appealed against by greedy developers, and provide real incentives to encourage development on brownfield sites, instead of the current situation of building on our precious green fields. Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour will not tackle this because of their commitment to the European Union and hatred of real local democracy.
- UKIP will leave the EU, and take back control of our borders.
- UKIP will protect the Green Belt.
- Planning rules will be changed to make it easier to build on brownfield sites instead of greenfield sites and low-interest bonds to enable decontamination of brownfield sites will be issued.
- Houses on brownfield sites will be exempt from Stamp Duty on first sale and VAT relaxed for redevelopment of brownfield sites.
- Planning Permission for large-scale developments can be overturned by a referendum triggered by the signatures of 5% of the District or Borough electors collected within three months.