HM Government’s plan to build 600 new homes in Three Rivers until 2038, (at total of 10,000 new homes) is misconceived and in reality a further process of gentrification of the area, which is already driving young people out of the area.

The Local Development Plan makes no provision for much needed ‘social housing’ which are rental properties at 50 per cent of local market value.

Developers are reluctant to build such homes, as it reduces their profits and bonuses paid to building company’s directors and dividends paid to their shareholders.

Instead, they refer to ‘affordable housing’ which is housing at a rental value of 80 per cent of local rentals or shared ownership, where a individual owns between 25 and 75 per cent of the property and pays rent on the proportion they do not own.

This is way beyond the financial means of people on low wages and in many cases it has led to people being driven out of Three Rivers, when they were born, educated and worked in the area.

Other groups such as the disabled, who (according to the UK Census in 2011) are five times more likely than non-disabled people to be reliant on state benefits. This housing is also out of the financial reach of some single parents, who can only work part-time, due to having childcare commitments.

Housing providers should have policies and procedures in place to ensure that their housing provision does not disadvantage certain ‘protected groups’ who will suffer because there is no provision for social housing.

As it is, those with reduced financial circumstances, are unable to access the best performing schools in the area as they cannot afford the house prices in their catchment area.

The practical effect of this is that life chances of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are severely limited.

The only beneficiaries of this plan are the already rich, (many from outside the area) who will buy these properties as a ‘buy to let’ business opportunity and they will charge exorbitant rents.

Other properties may be bought by affluent people and left vacant as an investment opportunity, or ‘gifted’ to their children via a trust deed for tax avoidance purposes.

One of the attractions of living in Three Rivers was that it was always a diverse area, with a wide range of people from all walks of life, which sadly is changing.

I would suggest that the solution be that Three Rivers District Council only awards building contract to developers that legally agree to building 50 per cent of their dwellings as social housing at rents of 50 per cent of local rental value.

Ian Kirkham,

The Queens Drive, Chorleywood