Azara Blog: The city part of Clay Farm will allegedly be affordable and sustainable

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Date published: 2006/11/13

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Half the homes on a new development in Cambridge will be affordable.

Cambridge City Council, which owns part of the Clay Farm site in the south of the city, has decided it should put its money where its mouth is and go for 50 per cent affordable housing.

Councillors wanted all new development in the city to meet the ambitious target, but a planning inspector ruled against it. The authority now hopes to prove it can work.

Coun Sian Reid, executive councillor for environment and transport, said: "We are very excited about what we see as an opportunity to do an exemplary development, the kind we would love to see coming forward to planning committee. We have set 50 per cent affordable housing, which is what we originally wanted in the Local Plan.

"What we're really keen to see on this site is a highly sustainable development.

"We want to put our money where our mouth is on climate change. We want to prove we can sell them for more than we would if they were badly designed or not very green."

No planning application has yet been submitted for the scheme. Developers building the rest of Clay Farm will only have to provide 40 per cent affordable housing.

When they say affordable they of course mean "affordable", i.e. less than market rate but still extortionate. (You can usually buy a decent 1930s house for what most new developments charge for flats.) And who will benefit from this subsidy of their lifestyle? Of course certain politically correct categories of public sector workers. In particular, staff of Cambridge University will not qualify, although they are far more "key" to the success of Cambridge than any of the "key" workers in the public sector.

And when they say sustainable they of course mean "sustainable", i.e. high-density rabbit hutches with lots of flats and no private gardens and no car parking space. Funnily enough Reid herself lives in a large detached house with a large garden and plenty of car parking space on Millington Road. But of course the ruling elite get to live in one class of accomodation and the peasants are expected to live in something altogether much worse.

The main problem with all these upcoming large residential developments in Cambridge is that they are run by developers, who in league with the ruling elite are happy to squash in as many people as possible. The slogan of today's urban planners might as well be "building the slums of tomorrow today", as happened in the 1960s.

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