I have visited an area of green belt in north west London, specifically around the town of Denham in Buckinghamshire. It should be noted that Denham is inside the M25 and approximately 25 minutes by train from Marylebone Station. House prices near the station range from £190,000 to £300,000 for terraced, £300,000 to £350,000 for semi-detached and £350,00 and up for fully detached houses.
Denham is within the “Colne Valley Regional Park”, described in Wikipedia as “a 27,500 acre (43 square mile) area of parks, green spaces and reservoirs alongside the…River Colne and parallel Grand Union Canal”. The area immediately around the station is attractive, incorporating a golf course, areas of bush, farmers’ fields and impressive views – see the photos below. I can well understand that many local residents would oppose the building of new houses in the area, given the rustic atmosphere and beautiful views they now enjoy. On the other hand, this is yet another area within easy reach of central London (only a 25 minute train ride from Marylebone Station) where large numbers of new houses could easily be built within walking distance of the local station.
I am not suggesting that all 27,500 acres of Colne Valley Regional Park should be given over to development – if just a small fraction, maybe 5% (or 1,375 acres), could be released for building, over 20,000 family homes could be built in the vicinity of Denham Station and other transport facilities in the area – based on a ratio of 15 houses per acre. If the area is good enough for golf courses, is it not also good enough for family housing at a time of urgent housing shortage in the London area?
View to the south from Denham Station
The edge of town and part of the greenbelt, about five minutes’ walk from the station
A suburban road in Denham
A country path near Denham Station