Age isn’t the issue

I should like to respond to the anonymous letter in the Gazette regarding the Larkbear development and housing for young people (“Look to the future”, June 6).

It is sad that the language used by the writer is derogatory to “over 50s”.

The Larkbear Action Group has over 200 members and not all are over 50 – some are people with young families of all working ages, and it is fair to say that those I have spoken to share the views of the writer regarding the provision of houses for young local people making their way in North Devon.

I am confident that if the proposal was for an appropriately sized, environmentally friendly development exclusively for this purpose, there would be very little opposition.

Unfortunately this is not the case in respect of the Larkbear proposals.

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It is true that some of the houses will be “affordable” – available for rent via a housing association, I believe – but the remainder will be for sale on the open market and it is here that many local people will be disadvantaged because with the current low-wage economy of North Devon and current house prices they will be unaffordable.

The writer advises that we should concentrate on ensuring that the development is environmentally friendly and cost-effective to young couples. As much as we would love to be able to do so, this is outside of our control and I suspect also outside of the control of the council.

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Don Pratt

Chairman, Larkbear Action Group

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