‘Four year rule’ means log cabin built without planning permission near Vernon Kay and Tess Daly’s home ‘may stay’

Log Cabin
homebuilding.co.uk reports that the four-year planning rule is currently being phased out by the Government, as announced in the Queen’s Speech in 2022, as part of new legislation in the Planning Bill: Levelling up and Regeneration. You can read more about this at :   four-year rule being quietly scrapped as well as other planning reforms.

Development becomes immune from enforcement if no action is taken:

  • within 4 years of substantial completion for a breach of planning control consisting of operational development;
  • within 4 years for an unauthorised change of use to a single dwellinghouse;
  • within 10 years for any other breach of planning control (essentially other changes of use)”

original article at : https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/news/log-cabin-built-without-planning-permission-near-Vernon-Kay-and-Tess-Dalys-home

Housing crisis, a simple fix: Government Self-build Houses by James Armstrong



By Rev.  James Armstrong (who has self built two houses)






The central policy of tomorrow’s Self-build housing (GS-BH) government will meet peoples’ greatest need -Universal access to good housing, throughout  UK , in sufficient numbers to meet demand  and at accessible prices and rents for working people.  Referencing  ‘Affordable houses” is  a confidence trick – Waiting lists for “A”  H can run to 10 years, That’s not  affordable.



Satisfy the need for houses that all previous post war governments failed to meet.

In 2009 each of 24 Self Build Houses at St Minver Cornwall cost £83k – less than half the (then) price of ‘commercial’ or ‘social houses’.

Grateful self builders in teams and streams  will have reason to support NS-BH Government.

NS-BH as HMG will report – in housing numbers end-year’s build totals–It can’t afford to fail.

HS-BH Bulldoze government housing scams – Build foundations of YOUR house and home

Under one system government can promote the most climate friendly construction system.



‘Labour’  is yesterday’s news. Few ‘labourers’ vote,  fewer Unions fund them.

‘Lib-Dems”are last century leftovers – Whig v Libs. Libs historically support Conservatives.

“Conservatives” feed the  City of London to conserve yesterday’s policies and riches.

Communists?  USSR has failed.   Russia is a malign autocracy.  All are  pathetic relics.

We target housing shortage, inflation. Ever rising house prices, and banks’ rising mortgage income . Each mortgage is  money c r e a t e d  by plc banks. This devalues the coinage,  yields dividends to the bank and hits the  unhoused with ever higher rents and house prices.



Behind the scenes, the autonomous City of London is in charge of policy. The Medi-evil ‘Rememberancer’ sitting behind the speaker’s chair with a £50million budget feeds each Select Committee with pro-City financial policies to legislate for them.

Examples are privatisation, banks’ mortgages swamp building societies’, selling off social houses to feed the mortgage lenders – the same crooked* (see below)  banks who c r e a t e money and so devalue it (mis-called ‘inflation’ and ‘growth’) They  charge high mortgage interest, invest the ‘funny money’ they are encouraged to c r e a t e to spawn multiple profit sources . This  process is masked from working people.  Only Westminster Palace knows it.

Incredible but true –

In contrast the householder  repays the loan monthly in real money from earned  wages and salaries. Families suffer as  the cost of living rises and wage packets buy less.

This giant City, B of E, HM Treasury trick on voters is backed  by weak governments and traditional economists.  ‘crook’ international banks -Goldman Sachs, JPM, HSBC…have had multi  £m and £bn fines.  As  corporations they are exempt from jail for life and hanging. Their crimes are unrecorded by Criminal Records Office (that’s for people only)

Entitling  the homeless with planning permission for building on ‘exceptional sites’

Nationalising land frees it from exploitation by Land Lords, Housebuilders, CAP millionaires

GOVERNMENT SCAMS EXPOSED-   Language is abused when they claim to build HOMES.

The panacea of “Affordable homes” are at prices and rents  out of reach of many , H.A.s output declines and some 16  premium priced houses are built to every one  ‘social’ leading to a waiting list of up to ten years.   Targets are set years ahead for revolving Ministers.



They are  smoke screens hiding the truth – weapons forged by government to tax   houseneedy people with higher mortgages to reward plc’s and grow the privileged sector -second home buyers.

In five years GS-BH will cure the  problem and progressed  nationalising building land.


  • Enable groups to build good houses – detached, with garden, water, gas, electrics..…
  • Houses wherever needed at half the cost – St Minver- of Wimpey’s or Persimmons’
  • Recruit in your area Self Build teams of twelve  from any waged person in employ so s(he)  can repay reduced mortgage instalments. ( your unpaid labour is credited as the deposit to buy the house) Do it nationwide .  A local architect guides each group.
  • You work, , assisted by friends and family, at weekends and holidays
  • Housing Ass.’s supply land, in return have one extra half-price house built per team.
  • Building Land is confiscated by fining ‘landbankers’ in land, as illegal monopoly land- owners  (Huge landbanks are listed on p81 of Barker Review of Housing)
  • Office of Fair Trading and Monopolies Commission shelved by HMG will be reinstated.
  • Rates will be reintroduced, as still in force in Northern Ireland, only on homes over 750 square feet (approx UK average) floor-space.



Multi £billionaire P L C  Housebuilders- monopolise scarce building land  and cause shortage to increase house prices dramatically – This an invitation HMG to nationalise  building land.

Person operated Self Builders’ output is ALREADY   bigger than corporate Wimpey,  and Persimmon,  and Barratt and Miller  (see OFT Housing  Report )

Land is a scarce resource, building-land scarcer. One profiteering plc builder controlled  33 years supply! (Barker p81 ).   Nationalising  designated ‘building land’,  is democratic and now vital. Not doing so invites ruin.  It’s either  ‘Tighten HMG control of plc builders’  or Hello to ever-rising site and house prices. Deathless ‘corporations’ were invented by idiots before air flight, radio, tv, ‘inter-nationalism’ or internet. Corporations outlive governments, people and nations. Huge annual profits of these foot-loose giants enable plc’s and the City  to control  HMG policy. This explains rising prices.  (an evil example is UK invading Egypt in1956- to protect UK Suez canal shareholders and  ‘Imperial’ connections in the east. )



Think of the enthusiasm when people move in and own the house they built (and built more quickly  than my two- year National army Service stint at 28/6 per week.   JA


               Good Houses should be snug  and airy, building houses  isn’t  scary.  

              College taught me  Greek and Hebrew, I taught myself to  build a  bijou.     



*In MONOPOLY’ only the LANDlord wins ** Barker Review p81 lists plc’s huge land banks      



Hundreds of north London cottages in 1924 cost Dame Henrietta Barnett £250 each.

The  history of one – in 1924 it cost  £250, 1967 sold for £6,000, 2017 sold for £608,000.

-pro rata, In 2067 would cost  £62 million***  but won’t when GS-BH intervenes.   

***the  2067  buyer might pay an additional £9m Stamp Duty.  From the ONS website-

HMG’s Stamp  Duty  Income in 2022 was  £22bn , an eleven percent  rise on 2021.

Did your wages rise by eleven percent in 1922?   Food prices did.


REV James Armstrong  –   Let us Pray


Post-war English countryside chroniclers: Robin Page, John Seymour, Jack Hargreaves

As agricultural workers joined the fight against Adolf Hitler, imported American tractors took over from horse-power. Post-war, the drive for ‘efficient’ fertilisers and pesticides ended centuries of farming crafts and wisdom. Some of these skills were only retained by gypsies who have now themselves been almost persecuted out of existence.

Barely mentioned is the key role farming subsidies have played in these changes, making smallholdings, market-gardens and even the 100 acre farm barely viable. The industrial agriculturists, like the Duke of Westminster, private equity and Crown Estate, who never even cast eyes on 99.9% of their land, each get a estimated eight-figure sum annually.

The markets are moving in fast. Near Oxford, private equity is about to build an 11 mile long solar farm, the biggest in Europe. Investors are taking thousands of acres out of production on the back of a rigged electricity market.

in George Monbiot’s 2022 declaration that ‘farming is the greatest threat to humanity’ it is as if the environmental movement he claims to be part of, and its sixty year fight against industrial agriculture, never happened. Is George hoping we’ve forgotten? King Charles too seems to have abandoned his organic life, sacking Highrove’s organic farm manager and signing GM into law.

Farmers, and the surpluses they produced, created civilisation out of poverty, and without them, we starve. The simple and socially just solution is to cap subsidies at 400 acres or to subsidise the farmer rather than the acres … and to make all farming organic.

Time then to refresh all our memories about the great post-war campaigning journalists who chronicled these devastating changes which ended time-worn farming practices. Noting too the latest incarnation of enclosure, depopulation that meant many farm labourers never returned to the land.

Unacknowledged at The Guardian, some still fight for rural social justice and love of organic land… as today’s countryside becomes a playground for greedy individuals and their corporations. [TG, ed.]

Robin Page: ‘An asset to any cause’

The Decline of the English Village, by Robin Page (1974)
Extract from Chapter 1, the home and farm
ISBN 0-7067-0132-1

Life on the land was hard, requiring patience, resourcefulness and brute force. During a hot dry summer the thick grey boulder clay, which seemed to descend to unfathomable depths, would set as solid as rock, its adamantine crust blunting implements, wearing out horseshoes and causing frustration and despair. If ploughed late it would dry out, forming countless clods of varying sizes from marbles to footballs, and elsewhere it would crack, the heat from the sun drawing out the moisture, leaving the crops struggling for survival. In contrast, winter would show the full fickleness of its nature and it would become a squelching, glutinous mass, turning the farmyard into a sea of mud and making land work impossible; work was confined to ditching or hedging with hands numb with cold, cutting kale with clothing soaked by the chilling leaf-held water, repairing buildings, or shovelling out ‘muck’ from the cowshed and the stable.
Dolly and Diamond were housed in the stable; two fine carthorses, one the colour of burnt sienna, the other a dark chestnut. They were said to be a Clydesdale and a Shire, but time and hot blood had allowed other strains to creep in. Their confidence, bearing and strength, a living tribute to their ancestry, made them not only able and willing workers, but also valuable companions in the never-ending struggle with the elements. But, sadly, as they stood at their manger, snorting and stamping, proud and content, they were unaware of the significance of the blue tractor standing silently in the shed nearby. It needed no care when not working, its hunger was for toil not sustenance, it was strong, adaptable, and reliable. The adoption of the Fordson Major marked the beginning, and the end, of an era.
Because of the tractor Dolly soon left, sold to a dealer, who in turn sold her again, probably to a factory in Melton Mowbray where she would disappear inside tins of catfood, or to be exported to Belgium, destined for a butcher’s shop in Bruges. When I was eight, another lorry arrived, this time for Diamond, and she too was loaded up and whisked away.
It was a miserable day on the farm. Two tractors now stood in the shed and the stable was empty, save for memories and the smell of the past. I would have no more rides on that broad brown back, clinging with trusting arms to her shaggy greying mane, and she would pull no more cart loads of water along the road for the cows as they grazed languorously in a nearby meadow. The harsh facts of farming life meant that she had to go. She had worked willingly and well, but her coat was losing its lustre, her muscles were tiring and her reactions were slowing. The faithful horse that had toiled for hours in the fields, shifting tons of corn and earth, was finished, and her large mournful eyes seemed to know this. Father could not hide the sense of betrayal he felt in sending his helper to the knacker’s yard; a helpmeet who had aided him in bad times and good, and whose crime was that of old age.
Apart from her age she had only one minor failing; an almost uncanny sense of time. Regardless of her task, whether she was hoeing, ploughing or drilling, as soon as it was time to stop, her time, not her master’s, she would turn at right angles and head for home. Now she would be returning home no more.
Father felt that same sense of betrayal and guilt when he sent cows to market to be sold for slaughter. For ten or twelve years he would feed them and house them, in winter mixing their food with a shovel on the floor of the barn, turning over and stirring the multi-coloured mound of different meals like a builder mixing cement, and in return they would give him milk and every year deliver him a new calf. Then, as soon as their yield dropped or they became barren, they were sold off and killed. The economic facts of life did not allow for sentiment, and the saddest sound on the farm was that of the cattle lorry as it revved up and moved off to Cambridge.
He felt nothing for the pigs however, greedy, screaming and often brutal animals that would turn on the weakest of their number, sometimes leaving it streaming with blood and literally quaking with fear. He felt nothing, either, for the bull, standing in its pen looking cunning and malevolent. Its life alternated between periods of lust for the cows, when it would breath heavily and bellow out a message of virility, and periods of distrust when it would snort with anger and paw the ground at its human adversaries. The bull’s humour was worsened by the fact that around the farm buildings and some of the fields, the animals were kept in by an electric fence; a thin strand of wire through which an electric current passed every second. We normally kept well away from it, hating every time we accidentally received a shock, but greatly enjoying the sight of an unsuspecting visitor taking hold of it.
The bull disliked it, after allowing the chain from his nose to become entangled with it and then retreating backwards, only for another strand of wire to send a shock rushing up his tail.
The wire had hardly any effect on Father who would casually take hold of it, to check that it was not shorting, with no apparent discomfort. When moving the wire one morning, to allow the cows to get at some new grass, he was watched by several children, including an innocent boy from the High Street: ‘Get hold of that end for me will you, Paul?’ he asked. Paul picked it up with both hands; his eyes blinked in amazement, his mouth opened, and every time the current passed through him his whole body jolted. He was so surprised then to the roadside for collection, the pigs and hens had to be fed, and in addition the land had to be cultivated.
All this could not be done by one man alone and Father had two full time workers to help him, and sometimes three. Jim and Percy were the regulars, one a countryman born and bred, the other a townsman who would have been more at home delivering milk or repairing pavements. It was Percy who was out of place on the land, for he was unacquainted with the laws of nature and could not understand the animals. Land work had been for him a stop-gap, taken up when jobs were difficult to come by, but he worked happily, if fitfully, and used such words as ‘shite’, the meanings of which we were supposed not to know.
Jim was completely different, a small, one-eyed, well-meaning countryman, who could read the condition of the land or the seasons of the year like others read a book. His father, grand-mother and great-grandfather had all been tenants of the same farm and were from that ancient yeoman stock which had formed the stable backbone of English society for generations. Men of resolution and reliance who had farmed and fought with a resilience and a determination that had made them an asset to any cause, and who, when Oliver Cromwell had represented Cambridge in Parliament, flocked to his banner to overthrow what they saw as injustice and tyranny. Jim had maintained that tradition, and in 1914 he, too, had responded to the call of duty and went to do battle in northern France.
After just six months of active service he had returned home with honour, but also with a shrapnel wound in his right eye. He lost his eye, but gained a view of the French that time never changed and which, to him, the Second World War endorsed. The French were, he said, incapable of fighting, they were dirty and stupid, and France itself was not worth fighting for. ‘If I had been a bloody Froggie,’ he asserted, T d have given the bugger to Jerry.’ But he was proud of his sacrifice and even had a begrudging respect for ‘the bloody squareheads’ , who were, he admitted, good soldiers and workers.
His father had been turned out of the rented farm when the land had changed hands, and as there had been no security of tenure Jim had not been able to become his own master.
But this did not worry him unduly, and with a cigarette hang-ing from the corner of his mouth, and his one eye guiding him almost as well as two, he returned to the land as a worker, where he progressed with ease from horse to tractor, from harness to sparking plug, and became master of both.
Not surprisingly, after generations of independence and struggle, he was a Tory, who looked upon Socialism as a malignant cancer that ate into stability, freedom and self-respect. At the mention of certain politicians he would take off his cap, scratch his greying head in exasperation and recommend that the offending wretch be placed ‘head first in a barrel of runny cow muck’, or that a ‘hedgehog skin should be wrapped around a pitchfork handle and stuffed up his bloody arse.’
Apart from his love of the land and his hatred of Social-ism, his one abiding passion was cricket and he could talk for hours on the game, sounding like an encyclopaedia of all the great names of the past. He spoke of Hobbs and Sutcliffe, at Lord’s and Parker’s Piece, and recalled many memorable occasions on local village greens where amazing feats of batting had taken place, and where, on other occasions, teams had been skittled out for less than ten.
Charlie would occasionally arrive on his bicycle to work part-time. He was a signalman on the railway who rested while at work, and worked while he should have been resting at home. In his signalbox he could doze until roused by the warning bell, and at home he kept pigs, cultivated a large garden, as well as a plot of ground, and still had time to help out local farmers. At hay cart and harvest, others too would come for casual work or would be borrowed from neighbouring farms, so that the work could be speedily finished.
It was harvest time that we children liked the best, the sun always seemed to shine and there would be picnic teas ‘down the harvest field’. There, Jim would drive the tractor, father roped on, the loads would lurch and sway as the trailers were pulled along the rough cart tracks, and we children would conceal our fear with laughter as we rode on top.
The men worked long hours to get the harvest home and would finish each day tired and hungry. But the smell of corn being cut, the creak of horse and harness, the feel of stubble on bare legs, the sun, rabbits being shot as they ran for cover, and mother, forgetting briefly the evils of alcohol, buying quart bottles of cider, made it the best season of the year for us. The insects in the sandwiches, the horseflies droning menacingly in hungry search, and the fatigue of those working, were of little consequence.

John Seymour: High farming: no fertiliser, pesticides or diesel

The Countryside Explained, by John Seymour (1977)
Extract from Chapter 7 – crops of arable land
ISBN 0-571-11092-4

Late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century writers such as Arthur Young and Cobbett were constantly noting two-ton-an-acre in their travels. They took this as something good but not unusual in those days of High Farming.
No chemicals were used (there weren’t any) but enormous applications of farmyard manure kept up the high fertility of the land, plus the ploughed-in residues of nitrogen-fixing clovers, the bulk of humus-forming grasses, and the dunging and treading of sheep which were kept folded on turnips.
I worked on a farm in Essex as a pupil when a boy where two tons of wheat to the acre was the almost invariable rule and where hardly any chemical fertilizer and no other chemicals were used. There were, though, a hundred bullocks fattened every year in yards on this hundred-acre farm, a herd of six breeding sows, the dung of five horses and a couple of hundred free-range hens.
This was one of the last farms in Essex run on traditional High Farming lines. No fuel-oil [diesel – ed.] was imported on to the farm for there were no tractors or other engines. The only thing that did come over our borders was a ton or two of linseed cake for what Mr Catt the farmer called ‘its kindling effect’ on the bullocks to give them a finish for the butcher in the last weeks of the fattening period.
The input-output ratio of such a farm was simply marvellous-practically nothing came on but a great deal went off. But such farming is prodigal of human labour. There were seven of us working these hundred acres and we had to work in a way which no modern farm worker would tolerate.
Today this farm is probably part of a thousand-acre agribusiness with possibly two tractor drivers working the whole lot. But apart from the stunt members of the three-ton-and-over club (who are certainly costing the country far more in foreign exchange than they are saving by producing wheat) the average production of wheat per acre in Britain is still well below two tons an acre.

Jack Hargreaves: ‘The cleverest dog was now the poacher’s dog’

The Old Country, by Jack Hargreaves (1988)
Extract from Chapter 6 – a shining night
ISBN 0-946159-59-9

You may still find, in a country pub somewhere, an ancient who will talk with relish about the days of ‘sparrow-pie’. This really means ‘little bird pie’. When protein was short large numbers of little birds were eaten and they were not particular about the species. Dozens of them would be boiled until their flesh could be picked off and made into a pie.
Long ago when we moved to our first farm there stood in the corner of the barn an old clap-net. Two very long poles were tied together at their thin tips so that, if you held the butts under your arms, they formed them-selves into an arch. This arch was covered with a thin soft net of cotton. In the dusk of evening this was lightly beaten against the ivy of the house, the high hedges and the sides of the hay and corn-ricks. As soon as there came a flutter the net was closed by ‘clapping’ the two poles together.
When Pointers first came up from Spain their job was to find and put up birds for the falcon that was hovering above, but the Setter was the servant of the fowler. He developed his peculiar crouching habit for the purpose of netting partridges.
The partridge, when it senses danger, will always take refuge in concealment before flight. The whole covey – that is the partridge family – will crouch close together in the long grass” silent and unmovable. It is known as ‘jukking’ and nothing will make them juk tighter than the sight of a hawk in the sky. In the earliest writings on the fowler’s art there are instructions for making a kite in the shape of a falcon. When setting out to net the birds the kite was flown overhead to stop the birds from moving.
The setting dog would quarter the ground with the wind in his face, moving to and fro until he caught the scent of the hidden covey. Once he had it he would move stealthily forward. The fowler and his mate followed with a twenty foot square net, carefully folded. When the dog knew he was within four or five feet of the birds he would sink down to the ground and crouch with his nose pointing to them. The net would be delicately spread and the two men, one on each front corner, would slip it right over the dog’s back and drop it over the whole partridge family.
People who keep Setters today – and even win with them at Crufts – can scarcely imagine the thrill of working with them. Once ‘set’ to a close scent a good dog would not move a muscle until the job was done. There is an old story about fowlers who were working in the late evening when a mist rolled down the hill. They lost sight of the dog who was well ahead of them. After searching and calling in vain they went home. At daybreak the mist had cleared and they found the dog, still setting a scent that he had found the night before. They caught a covey of birds which had squatted while the dog held them for eight or nine hours! A likely tale! But you don’t have to believe it to understand that admiration for the dog caused it to be told.
I’m sure there is not a setter alive today that has a net pulled over his back. In any case it is unthinkable that the many arts of the fowler should be performed today. Still, to understand the problems of modern conservation, it is well to remember that seventy years ago when I was little birds of all kinds existed abundantly around us – after centuries of fowling. Despite the twirler, the skylarks sang in the sky all day over fields where they are now unknown.
Every evening we heard the Grey Partridge cocks calling the coveys to rest on land from which herbicides have removed the weed seeds on which they relied; and insecticides have robbed them of the insects on which their chicks were reared. In winter the small birds flew in clouds around the rickyard; but yesterday I read in our Country Bird Report that the sparrow must now be regarded as uncommon.
The art of fowling faded after the Battle of Waterloo as the percussion shotgun spread across the country, a weapon that would detonate a cloud of shot fast enough for feathered game to be shot on the wing. Instead of hawks and nets it was now the shooting – men who went out with pointers and setters – including Mr Pickwick. And soon the privileged among them found a way of shooting in which somebody else did the walking.
As so often in English history a new set of people assumed the role of country gentlemen. They moved in with East Indian spoils, Admiralty prize-money, the profits of coal, sugar and iron, and the fruits of banking. Land was no longer to have the monopoly of riches and power and with but a modest estate you could – by following the new fashion of driven-game shooting – put up a show of being a shooting host.
It meant rearing game birds by the thousand, and crowding them into the coverts in numbers for which Nature could never provide. It meant keeping the locals off your land and closing the footpaths which their ancestors had walked. It brought an obsession with trespass that developed over the years into a malady which the Old Man used to call ‘Landowners’ Disease’. Kipling is said to have been most seriously afflicted. On his small Sussex estate he sat at a top window with field-glasses, scanning his boundaries in fear of invasion, yet hoping that someone might cross the border who could be prosecuted.
But it also meant that a man need no longer walk hard all day in company with a yokel and two dogs in order to bring home three or four brace of birds. He could invite a dozen of the elite and influential to stand fifteen yards apart while the birds were driven over their heads. And he could have them all roistering at his lunch table while the Head Keeper sat outside, growling at his pocket watch and cancelling one after another of the afternoon drives.
His work was to be judged by the hundreds of birds shot and also by the scores of wild creatures, said to be competitive in the game environment, that he himself killed and hung on gibbets for his employer to see.
This time of new riches in the country houses brought hardship to the rural poor. And since the yokels were needed on shooting days to beat the woods and put the birds over the line, they became aware of the vast numbers of quarry, and more familiar with their habits than those who stood to receive them. It was quite natural that the fashion for driven game gave birth to the great age of poaching. Within fifty years two generations of country lads had grown up knowing every trick of the game, and taking a pleasure in it that amounted to ecstasy. ‘It’s my delight on a shining night in the season of the year’.
The cleverest dog was now the poacher’s dog – though he usually looked just a little ragamuffin. The pointers and setters died gradually away, to be replaced by the fetch- and-carry retrievers that ‘Stonehenge’ – writing in The Field in the eighteen-fifties called ‘Servants Hall Dogs’. While the poacher worked his dog would crouch on watch and if he noticed the sound or smell of anyone else he would creep up to his master and, in the dark, touch his hand with a cold nose. When the man with the needle- pole wanted a hare for his own pot he would go out with a gate-net inside his trousers – a soft, wide-meshed net about the size of a single bedspread. This he hung loosely in a gateway or a hedge-gap on anyone of the hare’s habitual routes that he knew by heart. Then he lit his pipe and walked on. His dog would slip through the hedge and quarter the field until the hare was put up and then drive it – sheep-dog fashion – into the net. Having killed it there he would return to walk respectably at heel. The hare could be fetched when the coast was clear.
One of the satisfactory things about poaching was that it did not involve guilt. No poacher ever thought of himself as a criminal. Of course, if you were caught you would be in trouble. But it wasn’t fair to the village Bobby to get caught. It was embarrassing for him. Even the keepers would turn a blind eye. They were, on the whole, contemptuous of their masters. But you shouldn’t put your trust in that. The Old Man used to say – ‘If the keeper lets you take a hare you’ll never finish paying for it.’
Poachers were hard to catch up with – except for the gangs that came from the towns and openly challenged the keepers to violent encounters. The standard of skill of the country poachers was very high indeed. Why, then, did the night when Great-Grandfather went out with his needle-pole turn out so fatefully?
The outcome of it was decided on the other side of the world. Australia had been used as a place to send the ‘criminal classes’ and, now the time had come to open up and develop the country, the Governor General said it could not be done with his work-gangs of thieves and pickpockets. Now he needed good men who could move out into the country.
So the word went from Westminster to the Lords- Lieutenant and from them to the squires who were magistrates. The search was on for good men who could be caught poaching.
Great-Grandfather could milk and plough and thatch and like most farm-hands had a dozen different rural skills.
The day he was taken – on information extracted from the drover – was his last free day in his native land. On the ship he joined hundreds of others swept up in the same cynical operation. It was a bad day for the man but perhaps a very good one for his descendants. I hope that their sheep-station may be called ‘Needlepole’.

Record UK net migration and the rising demand for housing

Record net migration and the UK housing bubble

Migration Watch: Record net migration and the rising demand for housing [follow this link to Migration Watch site for dynamic graphs]

Record net migration and the rising demand for housing

8 June, 2023


1. If net migration to the UK is allowed to continue at the present record level of 606,000 per year, the UK population is projected to grow by more than 15 million by 2046 – far surpassing the level of 80 million before mid-century. It is estimated that this would result in the need to build between six and eight million more homes – equal to between 15 and 18 more cities the size of Birmingham.[1] In contrast, if net migration were reduced to 100,000 per year or less, the impact of the housing shortage would be eased and young people would have a brighter prospect of putting their feet on the property ladder. Doing so would also preserve more beautiful UK countryside from being bulldozed to make way for housing.

Key points

  • The UK population is now 67 million but new Migration Watch UK projections estimate that it will increase to between 83 and 87 million by 2046 if net migration continues at the record level of just over 600,000 per year.
  • Immigration is the largest component of demand for additional housing
  • Population growth over that period would mean the need to build between six and eight million more homes, depending upon assumptions.
  • That is equivalent to between 15 and 18 cities the size of Birmingham, which in 2021 had 423,500 households (according to Census statistics).
  • Cutting net migration levels to 100,000 per year or less would help young people to get on the property ladder and preserve more of our beautiful UK countryside from being lost forever to housebuilding.


2. High immigration has worsened the UK’s housing crisis by injecting significant additional demand when there is already insufficient available accommodation. This means higher prices. Government analysis suggests that high immigration since the late 1990s helped to drive up house prices by a fifth.[2] As a government minister put it recently: “It is obvious that a rising population due to net migration puts pressure on housing supply, ultimately leading to rising prices.”[3] A housing analyst explained: “The worsening housing shortage makes properties less affordable as rising demand for homes and insufficient supply contribute to pushing prices further up.”[4]

3. Immigration is the largest component of rising demand. The most recent set of household projections produced by the Office for National Statistics, based on 2018 data, suggest that immigration at a level of net migration to England which is around half the present level would account for a majority (57%) of additional households during the 25 years until 2043.[5]

4. The government has set a target (now ‘advisory’) to build 300,000 homes per year. This target was calculated on the basis of underlying demographic factors, household formation rates and trends in the housing market as well as ongoing net migration levels. However, the current level of immigration far outstrips the target (which is based on 2016 analysis of 2012 statistics). One analyst has argued that when household formation and market trends are taken into account, England actually needed to build 461,000 homes in 2022 to cope with demand that has been hugely boosted by high immigration.[6] Yet the annual increase in the dwelling stock in England has averaged only 180,000 per year over the past decade, while the number of homes added in 2022 was just 235,000. The insufficient supply of homes will only be exacerbated as high immigration continues to drive up demand.

5. Some commentators suggest boosting housebuilding is the answer. But tackling this deepening crisis requires immigration to be reduced. Since the last record spike in numbers immigration in 2015, the drive to bulldoze UK countryside to make way for more homes has become more intense. The number of local authorities giving way to applications for building on green belt land has risen in recent years. Government statistics show that approximately 65 square miles of supposedly ‘protected’ land was set aside for housebuilding between 2015 and 2021.[7] And apart from protected land being added in the North East of England, during 2021/22 every other region saw net losses in green belt land.[8]

6. Migration Watch UK estimates that, should net migration remain at 606,000 per annum, it would mean the need to build housing equal to between 15 and 18 cities the size of Birmingham just to accommodate the population rise over that period, not even accounting for the future housing needs of the base population. Where would all of these homes be built? Which areas of natural beauty would fall victim to the bulldozer if this were to occur?

The impact of immigration

7. Over the past 25 years, the UK population has increased by nearly nine million, from just over 58 million in 1996 to 67 million in 2021. This has meant the need for more than four million more homes. Average household size has fluctuated slightly above and then below the level of 2.4 people per household. It now stands at 2.35 people per household.

8. Between 1996 and 2022, net migration from overseas to the UK has run at an average level of 190,000 per year. However, the five-year average level has tripled from 113,000 between 1996 and 2000 to 347,000 between 2018 and 2022. The record level of net migration for the UK was reached in 2022 when 606,000 more people immigrated to the UK than emigrated – more than double the average net migration level during the twenty years before that, which was about a quarter of a million (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: Net migration to the UK, 1996 to 2022 (ONS long-term migration estimates).

Share of additional households headed by those born overseas

9. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of private households, the number of households headed by persons born who were outside the UK rose by 2.7 million between 1990 and 2019. The number increased from 1.6 million out of a total of 22.6 million in 1990 (7%) to 4.3 million, out of just over 27 million (15% of the total) by 2019.

10. As Table 1 below shows, since 1995, 65% of the additional households created in the UK for whom birth place data was recorded have been ‘headed’ by a person born overseas.

Table 1: Numbers and percentage of increase in households by place of birth of household reference person[9] for different periods up to 2019 (ONS Labour Force Survey).

Period All households All households with birthplace data UK born household reference person Non UK-born household reference person
1990-2019 5057986 4717479 2056352 2662127
Percentage of increase 43.6 56.4
1995-2019 4116130 3700980 1286160 2415820
Percentage of increase 34.8 65.3

Population projections upon which these estimates are based

11. The findings of this paper are based upon UK population projections – produced by Migration Watch UK – for the period from 2021 until 2046. One of the key variables in population projections is the question of what the total fertility rate (or TFR, i.e. the average number of children that born to a female over their lifetime) is likely to be going forward.

12. To provide historical context, during the period between 1996 and 2021, the UK’s TFR has fallen from just over 1.90 births per woman in 2010 and 2012 to just 1.53 births per woman in 2021 – well below replacement level. See Figure 2 below.

13. For the first set of population projections contained in this paper, the TFR is estimated to continue at the level of 1.53. The use of such an assumption is debateable as the lowest recent TFR in 2021 may have been inextricably linked to the unique conditions of the Covid pandemic which persisted into that year. Indeed, there was a slight uptick in TFR in 2021 in England and Wales. However, it remains to be seen whether such a trend will continue.

Figure 2: Total fertility rate for the UK, 1975 to 2021 (ONS births data).

14. However, it is also possible that the UK’s TFR will return to levels last seen in 2015/16 as a result of an improvement in the general economic and political outlook and a reduction of inflation. In order to provide an upper range for our population projections, an alternative set of projections includes a conjectural assumption of 1.77 births per woman going forward.

15. Figures 3 and 4 show the population projections at varying levels of net migration until the mid-2040s assuming TFR of both 1.53 and 1.77 respectively. It must be remembered that projections only show the implications for the future if the initial assumptions continue to hold. The lower level of TFR shows a range between the population initially remaining stable (before beginning a decline) at a level of net migration of 100,000 per year by 2046, and an increase to 83 million should the level of net migration remain at 606,000 per year.

Figure 3: Projected population of the UK 2021-2046 (millions) at various levels of net migration. TFR = 1.53. Migration Watch UK analysis.

16. The higher level of TFR suggests a population in the range of between 70 million (at net migration of 100,000 per year) and a higher potential population level of nearly 87 million by 2046 if net migration continues to run at the present record level of 606,000 per year.

Figure 4: Projected population of the UK 2021-2046 (millions) at various levels of net migration. TFR = 1.77. Migration Watch UK analysis.

Household growth, household size and population change

17. Change in the number of households is driven by population trends, adjustments in the age-structure of the population, social factors and birth and death rates – all of which influence the number of people living by themselves and in households of different sizes.

18. For most of the 20th century the number of households rose faster than population growth. Households in 1911 had an average of more than four people per dwelling, but this fell to just under 2.4 by 2022.

Figure 5: Average UK household size (number of persons per household) since 1996 (ONS).

Assumed household size for these projections

19. Our projections are based upon a household size going forward between 2.3 and 2.5 people per household, with a mid-point estimate of 2.4 people per household. We explain the use of this assumption below.

20. In their most recent household projections (principal projection, 2018-based figures), the ONS have suggested that the average household size may fall to 2.24 by the early 2040s. Such a fall would be broadly line with the trend that has seen household size fall from 2.42 in 1996 to 2.36 in 2022 (see Figure 5 above). Over the period of projection, on these assumptions, household size would average 2.3 (2018 to 2043).[10] We take this latter figure as the lower bound of our assumed household size as it appears to represent the latest indication of the ONS view on projected household size in the period up until the 2040s.

21. For an upper boundary of estimated household size, we take into account the fact that migrant-led household sizes are larger on average than those led by UK-born people. [11] Net migration levels are now at a record high – and a growing proportion of population growth has been the direct or indirect result of immigration (this share having risen from 70% in 2012 to 90% in 2019). This might exert upward pressure on household size. For example, in London – which received net overseas migration totalling 1.2 million between 2001 and 2019 and where around half of current heads of households were born outside of the UK – household size has risen significantly, up from 2.35 to 2.69.[12] However, other factors (e.g. the increase in the number of people living alone) could counteract any such effect. We take 2.5 as our upper limit of household size across the projection period.

22. We take the mid-point between 2.3 and 2.5 as the basis for our estimate, i.e. 2.4 people per household. The projections assume a constant ratio of household size to population size. They take no account of changes in the distribution of household size, for example the increase of single-person households of older people.

Potential impact on household numbers as a result of population change

a) Lower scenario (Total Fertility Rate: 1.53)

23. In order to calculate what the above might mean for the change in the number of households, it is first necessary to calculate the total share of the UK population which consists of the ‘household population’ i.e. that part of the population living in private households, not in communal establishments of various kinds.[13] The total household population in 2018 accounted for 98% of the total UK population in the ONS’s mid-year estimate. We therefore take this as the basis for our proportion of the household population as a share of projected UK population going forward.

24. We divide projected population totals by 2.4 people per household. This indicates projected change in the number of households at different levels of migration. However, it needs to be stressed that these projections do not take into account factors such as household formation rates or housing market trends, nor do they account for the future additional housing needs of the base UK population. Table 2 below shows our estimates using the TFR assumption of 1.53 births per woman. They indicate that net migration of 606,000 per year would drive a total population increase of nearly 16 million over the 25-year period, with 6.5 million more households resulting from such growth alone.[14] Again, these numbers would be in addition to the housebuilding that is always needed even in the absence of any population growth. Cutting net migration to 100,000 per year would greatly reduce the pressure of increased demand for housing compared with 606,000.

Table 2: Estimated increase in the number of households to 2046 at different levels of projected population growth by migration variant. TFR: 1.53. Migration Watch UK analysis. These projected numbers would be in addition to the housebuilding that is always needed even in the absence of any population growth.

Population projections at different migration variants (TFR: 1.53) Net migration: 100,000 per year Net migration: 245,000 per year Net migration: 350,000 per year Net migration: 488,000 per year Net migration: 606,000 per year
Population change: 2021-2046 minus 196,000 5,586,000 7,644,000 12,054,000 15,778,000
Estimated change in number of households (2021-46) at average household size of 2.4 minus 82,000 2,327,500 3,185,000 5,022,500 6,574,167
Added homes needed per year due to population growth N/A 93,100 127,400 200,900 262,967

b) Higher scenario (Total Fertility Rate: 1.77)

25. Table 3 below shows estimated household growth by 2046 under a population projection scenario including an assumed TFR of 1.77 births per woman.

26. The projections suggest that if net migration continues at the present level of 606,000 per year, the population would rise to just under 87 million over 25 years (an increase of nearly 19 million), resulting in an increase of nearly eight million households. This would mean the need to build more than 310,000 homes per year on the basis of population increase over the period alone (i.e. additional to the needs of the ‘base’ population).

27. In contrast, a net migration scenario of 100,000 per year, even at a TFR of 1.77, only increases the population by 2.4 million, meaning less than a million more households over the period (40,000 more per year).

Table 3: Estimated increase in the number of households at different levels of projected population growth by migration variant. TFR: 1.77. Migration Watch UK analysis. NB These projected numbers would be in addition to the housebuilding that is always needed even in the absence of any population growth.

Population projections at different migration variants (TFR: 1.77) Net migration: 100,000 per year Net migration: 245,000 per year Net migration: 350,000 per year Net migration: 488,000 per year Net migration: 606,000 per year
Population change: 2021-2046 2,352,000 7,056,000 10,486,000 14,994,000 18,816,000
Estimated change in number of households (2021-46) at average household size of 2.4 980,000 2,940,000 4,369,170 6,247,500 7,840,000
Added homes needed per year due to population growth 39,200 117,600 174,767 249,900 313,600


28. In 2021, while giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, then Home Secretary Priti Patel admitted that the UK ‘simply do[es] not have the infrastructure or the accommodation’ to meet demand created by those arriving from abroad.[15] Given the UK was already in the midst of an acute housing shortage, it is relevant to ask why the government enacted policy changes that would drive immigration up to levels never seen before in British history. Ministers despite having been elected on clear and repeated manifesto promises to do the very opposite. As the number of arrivals from abroad continues to rise very sharply due to record work, study and family visas, refugee immigration running into hundreds of thousands per year and the untrammelled flow of illegal boats across the English Channel, the UK’s housing crisis has no end in sight. It is set to worsen unless urgent action is taken now to significantly lower the level of immigration to the UK.

29. Immigration has driven up house prices, making it more difficult more many to afford a mortgage deposit. Such trends are set to continue as added demand from overseas arrivals skyrockets. Indeed, this paper has shown that, if current levels of immigration continue, the UK will have to build between 15 and 18 more cities the size of Birmingham to house the growing UK population; a population that would be on course to hit between 83 and 87 million by 2046. To urgently ease congestion strains and crippling pressure on housing, land, community amenities and the environment, it is essential that the government reduces net migration to the UK to less than 100,000 per year. As well as helping to ease the housing crisis, this would also protect more of the UK’s irreplaceable countryside from being bulldozed and lost forever.


  1. Census figures for 2021 show that Birmingham presently has 423,500 households with a population of 1.1 million people.
  2. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government bulletin, ‘Analysis of the determinants of house price changes’, April 2018, URL: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste… N_Ad_Hoc_SFR_House_prices_v_PDF.pdf
  3. Parliamentary answer, 31 May 2023. The Minister added: “There is evidence suggesting that immigration has contributed to rising house prices. The impact on prices in a local area of course depends on local supply and a variety of other factors. The Migration Advisory Committee found in 2018 that at a local authority level a 1% increase in population due to net migration increased house prices by 1%. DLUHC internal analysis supports a link between net migration and rising house prices.” URL: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-05-23/%31%38%36%34%38%30
  4. Aynsley Lammin, ‘Record migration is making the housing crisis worse’, The Sunday Times, 28 May 2023, URL: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/record-migration-is-making-the… e%20much%20higher%20than%20expected.
  5. The 57% figure is calculated by subtracting the increase under a zero migration scenario from the increase envisioned by the ONS’s high migration scenario (at 263,000 per year to England – about half of the present level of net migration). This would mean 2.7 million homes needing to be built due to future immigration alone out of a total increase over the period of 4.7 million (or 57%). See our January 2021 paper, ‘Impact of immigration on demand for homes in England’, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/486/impact-of-imm… tion-on-demand-for-homes-in-england ONS 2018-based household projections, published June 2020, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationand… holdprojectionsforengland/2018based
  6. Karl Williams in CapX, ‘Thanks to migration, we’re running up a down escalator when it comes to housing’, June 2023, URL: https://capx.co/thanks-to-migration-were-running-up-a-down-escalator-when-it-comes-to-housing/
  7. For the 2020/21 green belt statistics, see here. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-green-be… england-2020-21-statistical-release Also read our piece from March 2021. URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/news/2021/03/12/save-our-green-s… storing-sense-to-immigration-policy
  8. Gov.UK, ‘Local authority green belt: England 2021-22 – statistical release’, September 2022, URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-green-be… 2021-22-statistical-release#Table-4
  9. According to the ONS, ‘a ‘household reference person’ (HRP) is (current definition, post-2001) the householder, who is the household member who owns the accommodation; is legally responsible for the rent; or occupies the accommodation as reward of their employment, or through some relationship to its owner who is not a member of the household. If there are joint householders, the one with the highest income is the HRP. If their income is the same, then the eldest one is the HRP.’ ONS, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsa… holdsstatisticsexplained/2021-03-02
  10. For example, see the ONS 2018-based household projections, principal projection, released June 2020, which estimates a household size of 2.24 in 2043.
  11. The ONS has said: “In 2015, the average household size in England where the (head of household) was born in the UK was 2.3 residents per household. The average household size where the (head of household) was born outside the EU was 3.0 residents per household, which is slightly higher than that for households where the (head of household) was EU born (2.6 residents).” ONS, “International migration and the changing nature of housing in England – what does the available evidence show?”, May 2017, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationand… theavailableevidenceshow/2017-05-25
  12. Centre for Policy Studies, ‘The Case for Housebuilding’, URL: https://cps.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/CPS_THE_CASE_FOR_HOUSEBUILDING2.pdf
  13. For the 2011 census a household was defined as: ‘one person living alone; or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room or sitting room or dining area’.
  14. Again this number does not take into account household formation rates and housing market trends from which the current government target of 300,000 (which is based upon 2014 projections) is derived, so the actual number of homes needed may vary considerably.
  15. The context of these comments was in discussion of the resettlement of Afghans to the UK following the seizure of power by the Taliban in August 2021. Q2, p.3 of then Home Secretary Priti Patel’s testimony to a House of Lords committee, October 2021, URL: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/2914/pdf/ Also see our piece published in February 2022, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/news/2022/02/10/we-simply-do-not… accommodation-admits-home-secretary


Brazil’s President Lula Unveils Plan to Legalize Indigenous Lands by 2030

Sputnik brings you all the latest breaking stories, expert analysis and videos from North and South America.


Brazilian President Luiz Inᣩo Lula da Silva made major moves to reverse the environmental course set by his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, including unveiling a plan to halt illegal deforestation in the Amazon and to set aside huge amounts of the rainforest for government protection.

Brazil will once again become a global reference in sustainability, tackling climate change, and achieving targets for carbon emission reduction and zero deforestation, Lula said on Monday.

Called the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAm), the plan will coordinate policy across more than a dozen Brazilian ministries. It calls for ending illegal deforestation by 2030 and achieving net zero deforestation, meaning just as much forest is being replanted as is cut down.

It will use satellite images to track criminal activity as well as to regularize land titles, and will create a rural registry to monitor correct forest management. It also aims to help degraded forests recover and increase the growth of native vegetation to undo some of the damage done by deforestation, which is driven in large part by cattle ranching.

The Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) also announced that it would begin tying future lines of credit to Brazilian meat producers, including meatpackers and slaughterhouses, to environmental monitoring requirements. By the end of 2025, Brazilian meat companies that purchase cattle from Brazilian Amazon supplies will have to create a traceability and monitoring system for connections to illegal deforestation and the use of land in protected areas.

Febraban President Isaac Sidney said on Tuesday that banks are at the center of [Brazils] supply chain and that the move will encourage actions to foster an increasingly sustainable economy.

The financial sector is aware of the need to advance in managing and mitigating social, environmental, and climate risks in business dealings with their clients, while also directing more resources towards financing the transition to the Green Economy, he said.

Lula also announced that an Amazon reserve would be increased by 4,400 acres, and that another 140 million acres of public lands without special protection would be allocated – an area roughly the size of France.

In late April, Lula announced the creation of six new indigenous reserves, banning mining and most farming operations there. The areas cover some 1.5 million acres of the Amazon. Environment Minister Marina Silva said on Monday the government would begin the process of study toward creating more conservation units.

In addition, Lula also announced that Brazil, the worlds fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, would commit to reducing carbon emissions by 37% by 2025 and 43% by 2030. The commitment is a substantial increase from the levels set by Bolsonaro, who retreated from prior commitments.

Roughly half of Brazils carbon emissions come from deforestation, which often uses a crude slash and burn method that pours carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. One recent estimate found that 800 million trees were felled in two years to make way for cattle ranching.

The 77-year-old left-wing president returned to office in January 2023 after defeating Bolsonaro in the presidential election. Lula was previously president from 2003 to 2010, part of the wave of left-wing governments that swept Latin America in what was called a Pink Tide. Since returning to office, Lula has set about reversing course on many of the right-wing Bolsonaros policies, including on the environment, and pushing new efforts to build economic and political systems not centered on Europe and North America.

The Amazon represents half of the planets remaining rainforest, and 60% of it sits inside Brazils borders. Scientists have said that preserving the dense forest is key to efforts to combat climate change and keep the planet from warming to a level that could be dangerous to humans.