Tag Archives: land

Private Eye piece on land and housing in the Cotswolds

Remember, we don’t have a ‘housing crisis’, we have a distribution of land and housing crisis.

private eye cirencester

 

Private Eye

No. 1384 23 January — 5 Feb 2015

FINE AND GRANDEE

LAST month Cotswold district council (CDC) published its long-overdue local housing plan. Four years late, the draft was put together with the help of external planning consultants, costing the Tory council £321,594.

It reveals that the district’s entire housing shortfall will be resolved by building 2,350 homes on 300 acres of grade II arable land on the edge of Cirencester, owned by local Tory grandee the 9th Earl Bathurst (“Allen” to his chums). Allen owns 15,500 acres in total, so is unlikely to miss a few hundred. With planning permissions expected to be a mere formality from the Tory council, a multi-million-pound windfall beckons.

This plan to expand the area of Cirencester by 43 percent has not been greeted with universal delight by the citizenry. With accusations of Tory cronyism being bandied about, it was timely that the local Conservative Association abolished Allen’s role as honorary president in October.

When Lib Dem opposition councillors revealed that council leader Lynden Stowe had met the earl on six occasions before publication of the local plan, Allen told the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard loftily: “It is not as if I am going for dinner with Lynden Stowe every night of the week.”

Perish the thought. Far too oiky!

A History Of Community Asset Ownership by Steve Wyler

A-History-of-Community-Asset-Ownership_small Steve Wyler-1

When my friend Sophie first told me about this book she said ‘Someone has written a book of the show!’

This is a brilliant overview of the last thousand years and what it lacks in a catchy title, it makes up for in compelling prose.

You can download the book from our website as it seems to have dissapeared from the website which previously hosted it.

Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole

The blog Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole and Anna Powell Smith has been a near constant source of excellent original research into the state of land ownership in England for the last few years. It was happy news when the learnings from this project were augmented in summer 2019 with the arrival of an eponymous book written by Guy.

Now it would be amiss of me to state at this point that both Guy and Anna are good friends of mine and I was one of the people who read Guy’s draft and fed back into the book’s journey. Luckily, I genuinely thought and do think that this is a really great read which draws the reader through the important information Guy and Anna have uncovered, illustrated with insights, stories and more than enough linguistic colour to be really quite compelling.