With reference to the proposal to build on fields in the Heybridge area, we must move to a national policy of always first looking for brownfield sites for all future house-building.

It is a well-established fact, known for decades and with its own UN Convention established in the Seventies, that every desert in the world (apart from Antarctica) grows larger every year - as does the human population.

Agricultural land may be cheaper for the builders, but with a growing human population, particularly in the UK, it is actually a very precious asset - it is about a 100 years ago that Henry Ford observed that “they’re not making any more of it!”

Ideally, we should try to build within the boundaries of existing settlements, in order to reduce commuting distances, and travelling time, and only in very rare circumstances consider taking land out of food production for the purpose of building more housing estates remote from employment, schools etc.

It used to be reckoned it takes the equivalent of an acre to feed one human each year, and though modern farming is very efficient and productive, it cannot perform miracles.

If there is derelict land available within a town or village, or disused buildings with no apparent future use, new houses should be built there, to stem the urban sprawl to be seen all across the country, where productive 20-acre fields can be seen with a forest of new brick walls and scaffolding sprouting ominously out into the country.

If this is allowed to continue, it is only a matter of years before two villages will be tenuously joined, and then the developers will buy up neighbouring fields to consolidate the area as a giant new suburb.


Anne Still

Darcy Road, Tolleshunt Knights