Matt’s Crow Country: Hard to get a foothold on the property ladder

Development needed to provide homes

LOTS of things confuse me – Rubik’s Cube, the Duckworth Lewis method, the continuing popularity and success of James Corden.

But nothing I’ve come across in my life so far is quite as perplexing as attempting to buy a house.

Mrs Gooding and I recently began our first attempts to grasp the bottom rung of the property ladder, and the whole process has already left me exhausted, mainly because estate agents and financial advisors seem to speak an entirely different language from the rest of us.

The only things I’ve got completely straight in my head are that you pay a lot of money to solicitors so they can write letters on your behalf, and that if you’re a first-time buyer, your choice when it comes to purchasing the home of your dreams is severley limited.

In fact, it’s been a bit disheartening to discover how little is done to help those of us trying to buy our first house.

Unless you are blessed with a hefty savings account or a rich backer, raising the 15 or 20 per cent required as deposit is a nigh-on impossible task.

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And even if you do get help from one of the few government schemes available, in the Royston area there is no social housing available anyway, meaning if you do want to buy you must do so in some far-flung part of the county.

Royston MP Oliver Heald told me last week that the situation is going to change, and that the new regime at Westminster has several ideas in mind to help first time buyers and key workers, but once these are in place the properties will need to be available too.

So that is why I would ask the residents who opposed the Ivy Farm development, which will feature 40 per cent social housing, to spare a thought for the many young families in Royston who are struggling to buy a house.

It may not be ideal to have so many houses on what is one of Royston’s rural gateways, but people have to live somewhere and it appears that developing sites like Ivy Farm is the only way forward.


I WAS pleased to see this week that BBC radio station 6 Music has been given a reprieve.

The popular station had been recommended for closure, but has been spared the chop by the BBC Trust.

Their spokesman said: “The Trust concludes that, as things stand, the case has not been made for the closure of 6 Music.”

In my opinion this is really good news for the music industry in this country.

BBC 6 Music is the only station which really showcases up and coming bands from all genres of music, and it must be allowed to flourish.

Let’s hope we have now heard the last of this ridiculous closure scheme.