chapter  9
18 Pages

Rural buildings

The depopulation of the countryside which has been continuous since the late eighteenth century is in the process of being dramatically reversed. Tn much of England booming property prices already evidence a revolution which will eventually reach even the remoter parts of the UK. The reasons are clear. First is the perceived higher quality of rural life, especially if it can be enjoyed in weekday daylight hours by the breadwinner as well as his or her family. Universal car ownership has largely removed the problems inherent in all but extreme physical isolation. Second is that increase in house prices which has forced many would-be homeowners away from the immediate south-east and as far afield as Doncaster. Third is the reaction to that dispersal, a resentment at the sacrifice of time and temper involved in long-distance, or even relatively proximate commuting - road conditions worsen daily and BR's 'Network South-East' is not greatly loved. So those who have moved from London and other major cities start looking around for alternatives to travelling back daily. The fourth and most significant long-term factor is that which supplies the answer to the problems of the other three. The rapid growth in affordable information technology will allow an increasing number of people to work some or all of the time from home. Eventually this will even moderate urban house prices.