Keep farmland off limits to builders

Keep farmland off limits to builders

Keep farmland off limits to builders

First published in Letters by

As reported in The Press on Tuesday, a Parliamentary Committee of MPs warned in their recent report that the UK’s ability to feed itself is threatened by “complacency”.

They point out that while 20 years ago we produced 87 per cent of the food we consumed, today that figure is 68 per cent.

This is a cause for concern because climate change, population growth and the steady depletion of natural resources are combining to threaten food production worldwide, meaning that in future it will be harder to import cheap food from abroad.

What makes this trend to be less self-sufficient in food even more worrying is that Britain faces a significant farmland shortage as it is, with an estimated extra seven million hectares of farmland needed by 2030 just to meet the demands of an expanding population.

All of which makes the proposals contained in York’s Local Plan to build thousands of houses on prime farmland seem very short-sighted, if not simply foolish.

There may well be a need for more houses, but not if it means that citizens of York will face food shortages, as well as much higher prices for such basics as bread, milk and vegetables.

Clearly more effort needs to be made to identify brownfield sites that are suitable for development, while ensuring that farmland is regarded as strictly off limits.

Colin Campbell, Fulford, York.

Comments (4)

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2:06pm Mon 7 Jul 14

PKH says...

What the writer of these letter seems to ignore is that there is quite a bit of low quality farmland around, which is not particularly good for crop growing.
What the writer of these letter seems to ignore is that there is quite a bit of low quality farmland around, which is not particularly good for crop growing. PKH
  • Score: 1

1:08am Tue 8 Jul 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

Don't be sidetracked by 'climate change' nonsense Colin. Apart from that you were quite correct.
What you must understand is that the land owners agreed to sell for housing development for a big fat price. Also government targets for housing are the driver our City Council is pleased to support.
All in it together for the short term boom!
Remember, we are still making people but we are not making land.
I don't see any leadership for our long term good!
Don't be sidetracked by 'climate change' nonsense Colin. Apart from that you were quite correct. What you must understand is that the land owners agreed to sell for housing development for a big fat price. Also government targets for housing are the driver our City Council is pleased to support. All in it together for the short term boom! Remember, we are still making people but we are not making land. I don't see any leadership for our long term good! ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: -7

12:38pm Tue 8 Jul 14

greenmonkey says...

The 'climate change nonsense' and food security are both going to determine the future of this country far more than the short term level of profits for builders. This country of all should remember how vulnerable we were in the second world war when food convoys crossing the Atlantic were German targets and every scrap of land was turned to growing food. We are now far more dependent on imported food - as India, China and Africa develop more modern economies and lifestyles and natural disasters hit world crops we will need to be more self sufficient.
The 'climate change nonsense' and food security are both going to determine the future of this country far more than the short term level of profits for builders. This country of all should remember how vulnerable we were in the second world war when food convoys crossing the Atlantic were German targets and every scrap of land was turned to growing food. We are now far more dependent on imported food - as India, China and Africa develop more modern economies and lifestyles and natural disasters hit world crops we will need to be more self sufficient. greenmonkey
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Dr Robert says...

The letter writer has concerns about York's local plan mentioning it being short sighted and foolish. Well that is York's ruling labour council to a T, they have a obsession with expanding York into some multicultural metropolis with total disregard for the infrastructure, i.e. School placements, Hospitals, jobs, roads, and if one needs a Doctors appointment, ring up a month before you need it. Looking at the long term we have not got the land to keep expanding at the rate Britain is at the moment.
The letter writer has concerns about York's local plan mentioning it being short sighted and foolish. Well that is York's ruling labour council to a T, they have a obsession with expanding York into some multicultural metropolis with total disregard for the infrastructure, i.e. School placements, Hospitals, jobs, roads, and if one needs a Doctors appointment, ring up a month before you need it. Looking at the long term we have not got the land to keep expanding at the rate Britain is at the moment. Dr Robert
  • Score: 1

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