The trend of people from Urban areas buying up all the available housing in the countryside, coupled with the sale of rural council housing and a lack of housing association homes means there is little or no local accommodation for people setting up home for the first time. Rural areas are increasingly becoming the home for retired couples, and our young local families are being forced to move to urban areas to find work and accommodation. The original inhabitants who formed our rural communities had an age balance of all generations, but the changes being forced upon rural communities means that the traditional balances are being destroyed. The old will have no one to look after them, and the young, being forced to move, will not have the support of their parents. The situation is being made worse by the influence newcomers are bringing to bear on local communities. In lobbying against any new developments in both housing and employment, they are not protecting the community, but rather are trying to bring their picture of an ideal village to life. We live in a beautiful part of the country, but those of us who chose to come to live here must accept that we chose to come to live here because of what the village was, not what we want to make it. If you do not like Witheridge as it is, then why come to live here in the first place.

Witheridge is a working village that is struggling to cope with the changes the 21st Century is bringing. We need more local jobs to employ our young, together with affordable homes for the young. We also need affordable family homes to keep growing families in our community. We need to protect our remaining village shops and services. We are fortunate indeed to have a village school, but pupil numbers are limited, and any further expansion will need to be factored into any future reviews. Witheridge is a designated key settlement, and is identified as such in the County Plan. I agree that we should monitor any planned developments, but for the benefit of all who live here, and not just newcomers who perhaps do not see local matters in quite the same light. Change is going to come whether we like it or not, we should therefore all actively participate in shaping how the change comes.



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Last Edited 09/02/2010    Copyright © 2000-2010 Witheridge

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