High cost of affordable


Regarding affordable housing in Wray.

First of all I think we should clear up what ‘affordable’ means.

Affordable depends upon how much money you have. What is proposed in Wray is ‘cheap’.

Housing in Wray is not cheap, the people in Wray are not cheap. They behave themselves and use common sense. There is very little bad behaviour, vandalism, littering, petty theft or even drunkenness so we need very little in the way of rules and regulations, and this is good.

Compare it with Ryelands, where housing is cheap.

This will adversely affect the value of all the other property in Wray, after all, why pay a lot of money for a nice old stone cottage when for a great deal less you can have a nice new brick one in the same area.

We are going to want some compensation. Assuming that a £300k house in Wray loses £100k to bring it into line with an ‘affordable’ house and there are perhaps 150 houses affected, that is £15,000,000.

Who is going to pay that?

So they will be bought and lived in by people who don’t have much money. A man, his wife, maybe two kids, possibly 300 extra people in Wray. They will all want a car, maybe two. We already have far too many cars in Wray and parking is a serious problem. Oh yes, and because they live in the country a lot of them will want a dog.

I have the impression that most folk in Wray would like it to stay the same.

Now the land has to be bought. I think that a figure of £8,000 per acre has been mentioned. I don’t know how many acres would be required. I don’t know what an acre looks like. But it’s going to be a lot of money.

And what does it cost to build an ‘affordable’ house? £50,000 perhaps, times by 71 proposed houses equals £3,550,000, another three and a half million. Oh dear.

The ‘consortium’, whoever they are, are going to have to be pretty well heeled. We are already around twenty million pounds possibly – and then there is the bypass. Oh yes.

The present road past Wray is already overloaded. There will be a lot of construction traffic and when the building is complete there will still be a lot of extra traffic. In fact, the road all the way to the A683 is inadequate.

Incidentally, I have just learned that the Mealbank bridge, which was washed away in the 1967 flood, was rebuilt at its present angle because of plans for a bypass. We are now talking about a very great deal of money.

Assuming that all these people are not on benefits where are they going to work? Lancaster and Morecambe?

And how are they going to get there – by car. It’s a 20 or 30 mile round trip.

So, the man starts work at eight o’clock. Maybe his wife starts at nine and combines it with the school run.

I could imagine 100 cars doing 25 miles a day, that’s seven thousand odd miles a week. That’s a lot of fuel and a lot of pollution.

These figures are all guesswork of course, but I’m a good guesser.

Hopefully somebody in authority with a pencil will realise that it’s a non-starter and build them in the Lancaster and Morecambe areas.

Andrew Midgley


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