Sir George secures Debate on Thatched Roofs
30 Apr 2008
A thatched cottage awaiting repair
A thatched cottage awaiting repair
Click for a full size picture
A number of people in Hampshire have contacted Sir George, as they have been refused planning consent to re-thatch their homes.
"The traditional thatching industry is facing a crisis and may disappear unless this problem is solved quickly. Because of last year's wet summer, there is a shortage of wheat straw - and local thatchers have run out of stocks. People are faced with long delays and high costs, as the planners won't let them use the alternatives."

"Farmers are diversifying from traditional long-stemmed winter-planted wheat - used for thatch - into modern short-stemmed varieties. But English Heritage is saying that the alternatives are not suitable - even though they look the same."

"I am in touch with local thatchers - and with people who cannot repair their homes. I have also contacted the National society of Master Thatchers, who are being very helpful. I will be raising this matter in the House of Commmons next Wednesday, and urging the Government to sort it out."
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