Hunts popularity brings growing pains - MP

HUNTINGDONSHIRE S growing popularity as a place to live is bringing its own problems that demand flexibility from those who live and work here, MP Jonathan Djanogly said last week. This is a very successful part of the country, with a successful economy,

HUNTINGDONSHIRE'S growing popularity as a place to live is bringing its own problems that demand flexibility from those who live and work here, MP Jonathan Djanogly said last week.

"This is a very successful part of the country, with a successful economy, and people want to come and live here because of that.

"But we have problems of growth, and they are not going to go away as more people want to move here," he told an audience of farmers organised by agricultural trader Malcolm Lyons, who is also chairman of the Huntingdonshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr Djanogly urged the farmers, as "conservers and protectors of the environment", to be accommodating to the growing desire for people to use the countryside for recreational purposes.


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"People are going to have more leisure and they are living longer. They will want to spend more time in the countryside, and you farmers have an important part to play with the wider community. Since becoming an MP, I think I have understood clearly that there are two sides to every coin, so agriculture must not be overlooked."

The MP said he was concerned that there should be a balance found between those who wished to protect their living environment and the need for young people, particularly in Huntingdonshire's villages, to have access to housing.

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"We have a huge lack of affordable homes in this part of the country. I can understand people being concerned that their environment should not be disturbed by excessive or inappropriate building.

"But there are young people who cannot afford housing, and there needs to be a balance between those who [want to continue to] live in the area and the environment."

Proposals for wind farms were another area where proper balances had to be struck, he added.

"I have no problems with wind turbine in the right place, but that's not in areas of outstanding natural beauty. That's why I have opposed a couple of wind farm applications."

Mr Djanogly warned that the Copenhagen environment summit could have tremendous implications for the farming industry and much of the rest of the economy.

He acknowledged that questions had been raised about climate change research, but "if you can conserve, that's a good thing to do. If you can put less pollution into the atmosphere, that must be good too - if you can afford it."

He said he was open-minded about how to deal with the carbon agenda. "If you accept that, whatever mankind says we are going to have climate change come what may, we need to divert the money into how to deal with that.

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