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Monday June 18 2018

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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on January 30 2018 at 1:24:11

Times, they are a changin’ . . . and they will keep on changing whatever any of us may feel about it.

We understand completely the resistance to our green fields being turned into housing estates and the risk of our villages eventually being swallowed up by the metropolis.

As we’ve pointed out before, it’s not so long ago that North Field and Long Bridge were rural settlements, so we can see where some villagers’ fears over the fate of “Coftonhackett” are coming from.

For the first ten to 15 years of its life, this magazine campaigned relentlessly against giving up a square foot of fields.

We and other campaigners may, perhaps, have delayed the bulldozers for a while, but nothing is going to stop the juggernaut of profit (and a quick look at the eyewatering bonuses some housebuilding company executives have been paying themselves demonstrates there is a lot of money to be made).

More recently, as new homes have been filling in the open views in our villages, we have also noticed and welcomed the contribution quickly made by the “incomers”: their energy and new perspective is revitalising our communities.

Their recognition of their good fortune in being able to live in such pleasant places where they are on first-name terms with so many people is heartwarming and reminds us of what is so special about the villages in which we are lucky enough to live.

Coupled with the evident need for homes because, as our MP says, the housing market is “broken” (whether this is by intention or through the ineptitude of successive Governments), it is untenable to just say “not here” when people need places to live.

Better to recognise the benefits of growing villages and working together to make sure it is done in the best way possible.

The CALA housing development behind the Barnt Green Inn, on fields where we joined candlelit vigils to ward off the bulldozers almost 20 years ago, is an example of bringing the community on board, particularly with the provision of a new village car park.

We therefore extend a hearty welcome to “Happy Lego Man”, whose letter appears on these pages, and all the other new faces already here or yet to come.

After all, every one of us, or our forefathers, were incomers at some point.


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