I’ve picked out the section below for two reasons. Firstly, the bit about higher density development, is both terrifying and depressing in equal measure.
Terrifying, because just as so much of the NPPF planning guidance we now operate under does , it contradicts the opening statement made at the start of of the paragraph.
Notwithstanding the statement about high quality architects working in this country, the volume builders in this country appear to be incapable of building high quality development and certainly not at high densities.
There are plenty of award winning schemes that have gained plaudits for all sorts of clever innovations, or fancy design ideas.
However, none of them seem to be built for real people, living real and often untidy, disorganised and sometimes slightly chaotic lives.
Neither do they cater for the real world when it comes to access to transport options, refusing to show the reality of housing estates overrun with cars, many of which will be parked with two wheels on the pavement, because all of the roads are too narrow for residents, on both sides, to park outside their properties.
Inside dwellings built in the UK, the story is little better, some of the small room sizes in the western world and certainly the smallest in Europe – the Japanese would be proud of us I’m told. Little or no thought for where people might need to store things and a continued lack of respect for buyers, with show homes that include bedrooms without wardrobes in them.
So, high quality, high density development, where people want to live is the ambition. Sorry, I’ve heard it all before and I haven’t seen it yet.
If all else fails, the developers will always play the viability card to undermine any attempt to require something they don’t want to do.
“More homes will not mean poor quality homes. For too long, careless developers, high land costs and poor planning have conspired to produce housing developments that do not enhance the lives of those living there. We have not provided the infrastructure, parks, quality of space and design that turns housing into community and makes communities prosperous and sustainable. The result is felt by many ordinary, working families. Too often, those renting or buying a home on a modest income have to tolerate substandard developments -some only a few years old -and are denied a decent place in which to live, where they can put down roots and raise children. For a country boasting the finest architects and planners in the world, this is unacceptable. We will build better houses, to match the quality of those we have inherited from previous generations. That means supporting high-quality, high-density housing like mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets.”
Implying of course it can be dedesignated. The wekaest Conservative Manifesto commitment on this issues since 1979.
- Keeping the weak 200,000 homes a year target for housebuilding
- A new focus on high densities
- It is clear from the manifesto commitment that the land value capture scheme is not restricted to brownfield – it refers to ‘urban regneration and development’
- Mention of rebalencing housing growth across the coutry – omitted from Housing White Paper – consider this like the immigration pledge – met someday never without an horizen.
We have not built enough homes in this country for generations, and buying or renting a home has become increasingly unaffordable. If we do not put this right, we will be unable to extend the promise of a decent home, let alone home ownership, to the millions who deserve it. We will fix the dysfunctional housing market so that housing…
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