One of the most enduring myths about the countryside is that green fields and farmyards are somehow environmentally friendly. There is also a related canard, which suggests that the English countryside is something beautiful to behold and therefore worth protecting. Neither are true, and the sooner the farmers are allowed to give up their land so that construction firms can build much-needed houses, the better.
A typical English farm is an environmental disaster. It pollutes the soil with its excessive use of nitrate. This noxious chemical is eventually absorbed into the water basin, and ultimately contaminates our drinking water. Dairy production, the primary activity of English agriculture, produces huge amounts of methane, which is a major source of greenhouse gases. The agricultural sector is also primarily responsible for destroying most of England's ancient woodland and hedges. Paving the English countryside with concrete would, on balance, contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.
The agro-industrial complex destroyed the uniqueness and character of the English countryside long ago. Today's farms, with their obsession with technological efficiency, have created a patchwork of the bland, production intensive fields. Heavy machinery harvests its monotonous and tasteless product. Aesthetically speaking, we will lose nothing by building more houses to replace these ugly industrialized fields.
The green belt is also been a device to keep house prices high. People who benefit from this despicable restriction in the supply of land will argue the environmentally case. At the same time, you will find them driving their overweight pre-diabetic children in their environmentally destructive SUV town tanks from their ugly overpriced home to their elitist private schools. Pay no attention to their pleas to protect the countryside. It is self-interest dressed up in the fraudulent overcoat of environmentalism.
It's time to abolish the green belt. The market for land needs to be liberalised. Cities need to grow. We need more houses, and we need them now. Besides, the sooner the rest of England is absorbed by London, the better.