Focus on housing

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David Littlejohn (Friends of The Scotsman, 3 September) lauds Perth’s attractions for business and living, and relates what is being done to promote the former.

He says nothing, however, about provision of adequate housing to meet the needs of the desired growth.

The new development plan allocates large areas for homes but accepts that it cannot be serviced for many years.

Moreover, most are on the western edge of the city and within an hour’s drive of Glasgow and Edinburgh so that working and/or shopping in these cities will be attractive for many, thus increasing demand for homes and so their prices.

Moreover, much of the new housing would be on higher, colder land, far away from the city centre which badly needs more trade.

It is hard to see how this plan relates to the “sustainable city” the council says it wants to create.

Moreover, builders say the council’s expectations of them to finance infrastructure, “affordable” homes, school provision etc will make it uneconomic for them to build the housing needed. If so, many of the homes they provide will be “shoe boxes”.

Also there is a strong heritage lobby and a surfeit of “nimbies” who don’t want change and automatically oppose almost any development. These will at least delay any such development and increase costs.

I am pleased that my children may find good local jobs but concerned that they will be unable to obtain decent homes within, or close to, the city’s most attractive and accessible areas. There is an attitude that these should be conserved for the benefit of their present occupants.

Mr Littlejohn may care to respond to these points.

Alan Mathieson

Glasgow Road