|The former Cherry Grange site,|
I remember when our road was facing the edge. Our front windows had an open view towards Hatfield; there was nothing in between. It didn't last that long; eventually someone else had the benefit of living on the edge; and later still, yet another generation. I suppose we just accepted that we did not own the edge; it was not ours by right, no more that the fields beyond where we picked wild flowers, or bagged potatoes, or walked with the family on Sunday afternoons, or ...
|The former Newgates Farm|
Occasionally, such regeneration still occurs, such as at Highfield; or on a much smaller scale at the Radio estate. But today the growth is more likely to come from pulling down large houses on expansive plots, and constructing several "units" in their place. Cherry Grange, in Camp Road, is a good example. Or former industrial sites in Sutton and Hedley roads.
Such piecemeal growth does not, on its own, do much to help all those who need a home here, to own or rent; at least not at a price they can afford. Shortages always put up prices. It is true of houses as it is, at times, of petrol or carrots.
|Field on the Sandpit Lane side of Oaklands, Oaklands College|
Wouldn't it be wonderful if those who want or need a home here, were able to settle at a price they could afford? So, will it be possible? The odds do not at times look good, but we will know where the barriers lie during the eight days starting on May 10th. Lots of people will have their fingers crossed. but not all for the same reason.