Oh the irony of it; an advert portraying a ‘typical’ British family (although I couldn’t spot the 0.4 part of the 2.4 kids) sitting down to enjoy a welcome to England meal with a teenage visitor from France. His introduction to the typical English mealtime? a Kentucky Fried Chicken family meal! Kind of says it all doesn’t it.
The link below is to the PAS website and continues the debate started by RIBA, on the issue of the shoebox homes we now provide in this country.
There is a very revealing comment from a building industry bigwig at the end of the article. Side stepping completely the accusation that his industry is indeed shoe horning families in to smaller and smaller dwellings at ever increasing prices, he points the finger at – you’ve guessed it, the planning system and then land availability followed by viability. What a sad reflection that is on the priorities of those who are supposed to be providing good quality homes for the British people.
As long as greedy landowners, who have done nothing other than get their piece of land designated as suitable for development via the planning system, are allowed to make millions from what was worth only thousands and developers willing to pay throughout the nose, we are always going to have this problem.
Given that government keeps telling us there’s virtually no land left for building on, now would be a perfect time to set in process a price control mechanism, combined with a minimum size and build quality standard for all future housing to follow. Indeed, if landowners tried to strangle off the supply in the hope that a change of government would see a return to the old ways of maximum price for minimum efforts, an updated version of the compulsory purchase process could be introduced to allow councils to acquire the land needed at a sensible price. I can just hear all the capitalist turning in their graves!