Azara Blog: Lib Dems denigrate King's Hedges

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Date published: 2006/07/25

The Cambridge Evening News says:

People living on a Cambridge estate are demanding an apology from a leading councillor after he said the city did not want another King's Hedges.

Residents and councillors have branded Colin Rosenstiel "a pompous a**e" following his remark and rallied to the support of their community.

The row broke out after Labour councillors demanded a new residential development proposed for Clay Farm, Trumpington, be made up entirely of affordable housing.

Only last week the News revealed how developers were exploiting Cambridge's housing boom by concentrating on expensive and exclusive properties, leaving average earners high and dry.

But Coun Rosenstiel, executive councillor for environmental services, rubbished the Labour idea and said: "You'll have another King's Hedges estate if you follow that policy."

Coun Catherine Smart, another Lib Dem, said: "When building big new developments it's not just houses you have to build. You have to make community facilities of all kinds. It is also a matter of whether the development is the minimum the building regulations permit or whether we strive for more sustainable housing and raise the standards.

"We need to make sure we don't build the slums of tomorrow (Wednesday, 26 July)."

Coun Rosenstiel's comments have sparked anger, although he claims he meant community facilities were needed for new developments not just houses.

Not very bright, the Lib Dems who lord over Cambridge. Of course they are mostly rich and mostly live in the posh areas of Cambridge (e.g. Newnham), so think of the citizens of north Cambridge as a bunch of scum. And the Lib Dems have to be joking when they say they want "community facilities" built as well as housing. There are almost a thousand homes being added in Arbury Park (a.k.a. Arbury Camp) and there will be even more added on the triangle bordered by Histon Road, Huntingdon Road and the Cambridge city boundary (the so-called NIAB site). And yet not a single decent shopping centre will be added, because the Cambridge ruling elite, led by the Lib Dems, have refused to allow this to happen. Currently everybody who lives north-west of the Cam has to cross the river (along one of the few roads not shut down by the car-hating Lib Dems) to get to a decent shopping centre, and when these new estates are finished that artificial situation is going to make even less sense. The English are hopeless at urban planning, and Cambridge is a prime example of this. Political correctness (e.g. car hatred and high density building requirements, all in the name of alleged "sustainability") wins out over the idea that we should be raising, not lowering, the quality of the Cambridge housing stock (e.g. by allowing decent plots and by requiring a large percentage of housing to be built by the people rather than by developers, c.f. all the posh houses lived in by Lib Dem councillors, such as on Millington Road). In this case, Labour is also behaving rather stupidly by asking that all housing in any new estate be entirely "affordable", because that restricts who can live there to certain politically correct categories of workers (i.e. public sector workers), and in Cambridge all workers (e.g. university employees) deserve decent housing.

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