"People are spending money in superstores while bemoaning the loss of traditional greengrocers and butchers' shops. They then criticise the loss of rural bus services that they have never used," Mr Wakeford said in a speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute.
The inability to throw off urban lifestyles was turning thriving villages into virtual dormitories for the big towns and cities, he said. The Government estimates 4.4 million new homes need to be built over the next 20 years. Almost half could be in the country, but with their easy mobility the new green-wellie brigade may not even save the village pub.