Town Centres – Housing for the Elderly or Young?

A new application for the former Dairy Crest site in Rayleigh Town Centre has been submitted. Once again it is under siege from developers eager to build more housing. I’m not against building housing but is this the ‘right’ type of housing? Our car parks are inadequate, our roads are congested, air pollution, doctors full, schools full – yes same old story blah blah blah – is this housing fit for our needs?

I’ve recently been doing quite a bit of research around town centre development and have begun to wonder if our town centre particularly needs housing for young people or should we be building the limited housing in our town centre for the older generations. Those residents who don’t have cars, who want to access our libraries, those that will shop in those smaller shops like butchers, greengrocers, and bakers. They want to visit the bank… they have time during their day to visit the town centre park and open spaces. Will these people add to the traffic issues that our town suffers from? Would it prevent them from the social isolation that being housed on the outskirts of our towns sometimes brings?

In turn, perhaps it would free up the typical chalet bungalow that is occupied by the older generation and allow them to be developed to more substantial family homes for those who need ‘a bit more space’

What do you think?

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

  • I do agree with your thoughts. Town centre homes give much more benefit to older people than younger ones.

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