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Housing ban stymies Lancaster's revival

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In Lancaster, after stagnation since the loss of old industries, an influx of new blood has revived its economy and the retail sector is improving. The recent building of houses and flats has introduced new residents, presumably attracted by good schools and an accessible hinterland for leisure.

But there is still a severe shortage of medium-priced houses and further development that would encourage new contributors to its economy, and allow residents with growing families to seek houses with more bedrooms.More mediumprice houses would allow a natural equilibrium to be reached.

Further growth in the economy would offer more opportunities to many residents to escape the welfare trap.

The blanket ban on new housing (AJ 19.6.03) will interrupt this by stopping planning permissions. Worse, prices will rise and limit the chances of nurses, school teachers, police and people on low wages finding affordable housing.

Michael Pearson, London WC2

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