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Old October 17th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by london lad View Post
You then have the lack of infrastructure out on the fringes. Where will the train links, schools etc be for these newly built over fields be or will it be another car dependent dormitory town?
Why do the houses in the fringes have to have rail? By definition the outer areas are less dense and therefore not suited to public transport. A radial route in and out of London is important but otherwise we can build a good road network and space for people to park their cars.

Inner London can be geared up to a denser, public transport based model.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #242
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Your missing the point entirely.

If you stuck out in these new greenfield sites in lets call them say zones 7-8 and you work in central London or the other side of London how exactly do you get to work? Get in your car and drive for over an hour through London traffic, drive to the nearest train station ( which in London rarely has parking for out of town commuters) and hope to find a place to park. Where’s the nearest school? Hospital? Developers would gladly build as many new builds as they could in a random field but they won’t be paying for new schools, doctors surgeries, bus or train links that should go with it and neither will the local authority.

Adding to London’s sprawl so people have no choice but rely on the car is not the answer to not enough housing in London. Surely even you can see more effort needs to go into building on the thousands of acres of brownfield land across all of London rather than give free reign for the exact same house builders not building to build on greenbelt.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #243
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I'm not really arguing against using the brownfield sites in the inner city and basing the development around a public transport model. In fact I have no doubt that flat units will be the primary dwellings for the majority of people going forward (grim existence that it may be poor sods).

However, that doesn't mean that larger homes should be ignored entirely. People naturally migrate out of the city centre as they age, have families and so on. I understand that this is not the case for everyone but there are a significant number of people who would leave the city entirely if they couldnt find a decent suburban home within commuting distance. A successful city needs to be somewhere that suits all ages, groups and lifestyles.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #244
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The worry though is we won't get large homes but those horrible suburban estates that are more medium than low dense, simply because land will be just given to the few mega developers whose building model is large volume housing supplied over a long period of time. Much like this:



Only if Britain follows Belgium by selling surplus greenfield land to individuals as plots will we see nice, large homes.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #245
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Yes, that sort of development is horrible.

Whatever process we adopt it needs to ensure that we get high quality product whether it is inner city flats or suburban homes.

Around where I live in Epsom there are some lovely developments such as the Woodcote Estate and Chase Estate. Big, individual houses with large gardens and offstreet parking. Unfortunately, everything that has been built in the last 30 years is more like the stuff you posted meaning these houses trade at a lucicrous premium (£850k for a 3 bed house now).



There is no reason why greenbelt land in these sort of areas cant be developed like this. I am not a NIMBY, I could accept the loss of fields for a quality housing environment. Instead people freak out about losing a muddy field they never set foot in and are happy to see developments forced into tiny plots with substandard home sizes. There is absolutely masses of countryside ripe for development.

Note that every one of these houses are within walking distance of local shops and a great mainline railservice to either waterloo or Victoria. i.e. they are public transport friendly.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #246
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But that kind of development means you have fewer homes that are within walking distance to said station cos each one occupies a rather large plot.
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Old October 20th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #247
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From today's BBC London news about the use of the word 'estate':

London's new housing loses the 'dirty word'
By Josephine McDermott

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19897790
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Old November 1st, 2012, 03:12 PM   #248
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Article in the Standard, in nasty tabloid one-sentence-per-paragraph style...
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/re...7-8273141.html

Rents: Lack of affordable housing will affect HALF of England by 2017
01 November 2012

Affordable housing shortages could affect almost half of England within five years because of Government welfare reforms, the Whitehall spending watchdog warned.

The National Audit Office said uprating state help with rents by inflation rather than the actual cost of local homes could lead to "significant problems".

It also said that 87% of claimants know little or nothing about the cuts to housing benefit they face because the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has "struggled to raise awareness".

And it noted the DWP had "little firm evidence" about the likely impact on claimants' behaviour or the costs of administering reforms which are supposed to save the Treasury £2.3 billion a year.

"It is not clear that communications are translating to increased awareness of reforms or whether additional funding will meet the needs of local authorities," the report found.

Public accounts committee chair Margaret Hodge said was "astonished that the Department still does not understand the wider impacts of these changes".

The potential for shortfalls in affordable housing across large swathes of the country was also "deeply worrying", she said in reaction to the report.

The NAO highlighted potential issues with a number of the reforms - which include a cap on rents and overall benefits and restricting the under-35s to claiming the cost of shared accommodation.

Around two million households will see payments cut, with a small number facing substantial reductions in their state help with housing.

The report paints a stark picture of the effect of raising local housing allowance - which covers private sector accommodation - by the CPI rate of inflation not average rent rises in an area.

It warned that "the speed and extent of shortfalls could be significant", with the potential for large-scale migrations to areas with more affordable housing.

On recent trends, 48% of councils would no longer be able to meet in full the rents of half of all claimants - the present proportion - by 2017, it calculated.

Even if the measure succeeded, as ministers hope, in pushing down rents, boosting housebuilding and getting more people into work, around 30% of areas would still face that shortfall.

There was a "limited awareness" among the 1.4 million people expected to be directly affected by the change - with 13% saying that they knew "a fair amount" or "a great deal", the report added.

More than half - in a survey conducted this time last year - were not aware at all.

The report also warned that the extra administrative burdens and costs placed on town halls to deal with the changes "could lead to risks for effective implementation".

DWP was "still developing estimates of the administrative costs", it noted.

Mrs Hodge said: "I am astonished that the Department still does not understand the wider impacts of these changes.

"Cuts in payments will add uncertainty and increased hardship to the lives of individuals who are already struggling to get by.

"There is a real risk of increased homelessness, which on top of the human cost will simply transfer costs to other public services.

"Significant administrative responsibilities have been lumped on local authorities, who are already suffering from cuts to their own budgets.

"There is the potential for sudden and unmanageable population movements, for example, families moving from inner to outer London where rents are cheaper but there is already a shortage of affordable housing.

"This would impact not only on demand for accommodation but also put huge pressure on local health and education services. It is deeply worrying that half of all local authorities in England could experience major shortfalls in 'affordable' private sector homes by 2017. "

She called on the DWP to do more to prepare people for the impact of the cuts and "to assess urgently whether local authorities are capable of shouldering the additional administrative burden".

"Without the right systems to deliver information to local authorities or robust indicators in place, the department is unlikely to be able to demonstrate value for the taxpayer."

A DWP spokeswoman said: "Our reforms will ensure that people on benefits can no longer live in homes that most working families couldn't afford.

"Even with our reforms, housing benefit will meet rents of up to £21,000 a year and apart from the most expensive areas in London around a third of properties will still be available to rent.

"We are providing an additional discretionary fund of £190 million to help families in difficult situations. Our reforms restore fairness to a system that was left to spiral out of control."

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "Today's report is fresh evidence of the chaos at DWP.

"Reform to housing benefit is being so mismanaged that even councils like Tory-run Westminster are warning of increased use of inappropriate bed and breakfast accommodation.

"David Cameron needs to get a grip and introduce the crucial safeguards we proposed to stop evictions unless someone can be offered somewhere else to live.

"Unbelievably nearly half of councils now face a housing shortfall that is getting worse.

"Incredibly the National Audit Office tells us that ministers haven't even bothered to set up any kind of systems that might flag things going wrong - or whether any savings are being made."

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: "The NAO's report is a reminder that housing benefit cuts will hit millions of people across the country and could lead to an increase in homelessness.

"Most alarming of all is that the DWP has been unable to assess the full potential impact of the reforms, which come in next year, on many low-income and vulnerable people.

"One of the reasons for the high housing benefit bill is that we don't have enough affordable housing. More people are then forced to pay private rents that are increasing so much - by 37% in the past five years - that even workers can't afford their rent without help from housing benefit.

"Nearly 10,000 more working families every month are relying on housing benefit to help them pay the rent. The only long-term way to reduce the high housing benefit bill is to address the shortage of affordable homes rather than penalising people for struggling to pay high rents. We need to urgently build more affordable homes of all prices for sale and rent."
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Old November 1st, 2012, 03:18 PM   #249
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Bad article, and dumb comments from Margaret Hodge as often. If less HB is available, landlords will not be able to charge as much - rents will fall, making housing more affordable. That's good news. Yes, people may move to more affordable areas: that's good news too. The only real problem, which she doesn't mention, is the lack of new homes being built. Luckily the Government (which isn't quoted - there ought to be a response from DWP Ministers or press office) is addressing that.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 07:55 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Officer Dibble View Post
If less HB is available, landlords will not be able to charge as much - rents will fall, making housing more affordable.

That's by no means definite and even if true could take quite a long time. What
happens in the meantime to those displaced by such policies? It's a kind of social engineering you're proposing.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 10:00 PM   #251
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That's by no means definite and even if true could take quite a long time. What
happens in the meantime to those displaced by such policies? It's a kind of social engineering you're proposing.
i have serious concerns about the changes to housing benefit.

a friend of mine who had a great job at the times but had a breakdown because of violence within her marriage ended up in shelters, on the streets, in hospitals, arrested for soliciting, teenage kids don't want to know her. last year she finally got a steady flat in earls court and was in the process of rebuilding her life, starting a new degree, taking her medication, safe & warm roof.

she has had a letter saying she will be punted out at the end of her current lease, taking her away from the only stable community she has been able to call home and contribute to, since her life fell apart in 2003, and is back in psychiatry etc - thereby any saving to the taxpayer from her being forced to a cheaper area has wiped out by her escalating costs to the nhs.

on the other hand, i know of a woman in the next building to me - an egyptian woman, who rents her two bedroom flat in knightsbridge which is paid for entirely by housing benefit, and she makes extra tax free on the side by renting her second bedroom out for £300 per week.

i can't report her because i'm not that sort of person, and she's a very reliable babysitter, but it is actually quite disgusting. that's what - £14/15 grand a year tax free, on top of a free flat in knightsbridge, heating included, council tax discount, the lot. that's before any of her little money making schemes are factored in.

it's an extreme case - if i was a bitch i might try to sell access to her to the daily mail, as they do love a bit of outrage over housing benefit in k&c. especially if its a foreigner.

on balance however, i would rather the housing benefits were not capped. london is expensive - areas built for ordinary people like fulham & clapham are now out of reach. i don't want london cleared of everything that makes it london - which includes the mix and all the characters.

one policy i would like to see - is more incentives for older people to move out of larger council properties into smaller ones nearby (only if they wish, not under pressure) - say pay the removal costs and give them a £1k bonus to spend.

far cheaper than littering every site with more and more shoddy houses with teeny tiny bedrooms, when actually we probably have sufficient bedrooms, it just isn't arranged properly.

from now on, the only new public housing i want to see is studios for singles/couples, and the biggest size built should be 2 bed flats, if you choose to have more kids, then buy bunkbeds, or wait until an older person accepts their incentive and swaps properties with you. no moaning, no extra cash. bunkbeds.

its not a hardship to share a bedroom with a sibling. properties larger than this should be prioritised for multi generation families with the grandparents living there too - and i think that would have knock on benefits to our society as a whole if that was more common - admittedly one spouse would have to live with their in laws - but tough.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 03:04 AM   #252
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That just sounds like ludicrous overcrowding when we have places like Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool with plenty of brownfield site and empty properties. We need to look OUTSIDE of London and wake up I what resources this country actually has.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 04:03 AM   #253
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That just sounds like ludicrous overcrowding when we have places like Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool with plenty of brownfield site and empty properties. We need to look OUTSIDE of London and wake up I what resources this country actually has.
which? mine?

no i fully think massive things could be done in our other cities too - i wrote on this in the eu thread. i might quote the post here in order to show what i meant, which would also of course include mass & decent social houses mixed in with everyone else. not on estates behind chain link fencing with strategic planting to hide them a little from neighbouring areas.

i don't think it is ludicrous overcrowding - many people want to live in london. since ordinary areas like fulham & clapham, & even peckham, were built for ordinary people on ordinary incomes - through no fault of their own, that has become impossible, and the first two are entirely priced out of the range of most people, the latter not a million miles behind.

in japan (and parts of europe) it is very common to have grandparents living in the house, contributing fully & engaged with their families, sharing the babysitting & chores. i think it's quite nice. it might have as much to do with their long life expectancies and longer periods spent in good health, as with the diet. they are loved, involved, and hard at it with things to do.

far better than being left alone in your flat in newham until your hip breaks and nobody notices because all of your family have been moved to stoke on trent & the neighbours are all transitory. we need to be more sensible about bedrooms, and unlike houses, we have enough bedrooms. sharing with a sibling is no great hardship. actually neither is sleeping on a decent sofa bed in the living room.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #254
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Or we could build more homes.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 02:00 AM   #255
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Or we could build more homes.
that too, of high quality. modern, traditional, whatever. and i stand by everything i've said.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #256
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Quote:
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Or we could build more homes.
Is that the royal we?
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Old November 5th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #257
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Quote:
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Or we could build more homes.
Exactly. Unleash the private sector to build lots and lots and lots of homes. And of all variety. We can build lots of flats for people who like to live in dense central locations and use public transport as well as larger houses for people who value space and flexibility. They two arent mutually exlusive - and we can supply all the variations in between.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #258
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Are most going to be low grade buildings like in the 60s and burn our horizons and spirit.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #259
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20510692

Quote:
Open land can solve housing shortage, says minister

Increasing the amount of developed land by a third would address the housing shortage, according to Planning Minister Nick Boles.

He told BBC Newsnight building on another 2-3% of the land in England - bringing the total to about 12% - would "solve the housing problem."

Mr Boles said open land would be built on in exchange for commitments to defend greenbelt spaces.

He called for "beautiful" housing that was sensitive to its local area.

In his first interview about his portfolio since he entered government, Mr Boles has reopened the debate over how much more housing Britain needs and where.

Describing current housebuilding as "ugly rubbish", he argued that improved design might persuade local communities currently opposed to more development to support further building.

"The built environment can be more beautiful than nature and we shouldn't obsess about the fact that the only landscapes that are beautiful are open - sometimes buildings are better," he said.

To this end, the minister says that new housing will not be on the greenbelt, but he does say that open land will be targeted.

"We're going to protect the greenbelt but if people want to have housing for their kids they have to accept we need to build more on some open land.

"In the UK and England at the moment we've got about 9% of land developed. All we need to do is build on another 2-3% of land and we'll have solved a housing problem."

Mr Boles also told Newsnight that having a house with a garden was a "basic moral right, like healthcare and education".

"There's a right to a home with a little bit of ground around it to bring your family up in," he said.

After a battle over planning reform, in the spring the government and a range of opponents appeared to reach a truce. Now Mr Boles has set out what the government's proposals will entail.

He was made planning minister by David Cameron in the September reshuffle and is a well-known proponent of liberalising planning regulations in Britain.

Before his appointment, in a speech to Tory colleagues, he had described opponents of the government's planning reforms as "scaremongering Luddites".

But his plans will be controversial with his Conservative colleagues.

In recent weeks, Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has reacted angrily to the adjudication by Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles, who oversees planning, to give the go-ahead to a greenfield development on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon.

There was also local unhappiness in Winchester when Mr Pickles approved a development at Barton Farm.

"It's my job to make the arguments to these people that if they carry on writing letters, their kids are never going to get a place with a garden to bring up their grandkids," said Mr Boles.

"I accept we haven't been able to persuade them. I think it would be easier if we could persuade them that the new development would be beautiful."

Talking about the historic town of Stamford, situated in his own Lincolnshire constituency, he said: "Local tradespeople... decided they wanted to build nice places to live.

"We've somehow forgotten to do that, which is why people object to us building on open farm and land - they build ugly rubbish. If we remember to build places like Stamford, people won't mind us building in fields."
Refreshing for a government minister to say this, obvious though much of it is. The only way to make housing more affordable is to build more of it. Use brownfield land where possible, but there's plenty of greenfield land to use too, while still protecting 90+% of the countryside. The nimby/Telegraph/Daily Mail crowd will all go nuts - but if you build stuff that actually looks nice and build the infrastructure to match then people won't mind in the end. Big ifs.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #260
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Nick Boles saying more sensible things about the damaging effects of the lack of housebuilding:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/han...ndparents.html

Planning threat to grandparents

Grandparents face spending their retirement “propping up their kids and grandkids” unless they agree to support new development that would make housing more affordable, the planning minister has warned.

By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent
10 Jan 2013

It is “immoral” that young people are being priced out of the housing market because of a lack of cheap homes, Nick Boles told The Daily Telegraph. The housing shortage is a bigger threat to “social justice” than poor education and unemployment, he said.

In a speech on Thursday, Mr Boles will say that greenfield land must be built on. He will announce a scheme that will enable communities to receive funding for new facilities if they agree to support new housing developments.

By setting out the moral arguments for new development, his language marks a significant hardening in the tone of the Government’s attacks on “Nimbys”. It also shows the frustration among ministers that reform of the planning system has not sparked a building boom.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph before Thursday’s speech, Mr Boles said people had to recognise that “either they will spend their retirement propping up their kids and their grandkids, or they can accept more development so their grandkids don’t have the problem”.

“I genuinely think that the single biggest way in which we are failing to deliver social justice in this country at the moment is unaffordable housing – more than schools, more than jobs, more than benefits,” he said.

The minister, who is regarded as close to David Cameron and George Osborne, added that it was simply “immoral” that young people had to wait for so long to save a large enough deposit to buy a home. In his speech, Mr Boles will say: “I am afraid that we have a simple choice. We can decide to ignore the misery of young families forced to grow up in tiny flats with no outside space. We can pass by on the other side while working men and men in their twenties and thirties have to live with their parents or share bedrooms with friends.

“We can turn a blind eye while Margaret Thatcher’s dream of a property-owning democracy shrivels. And shrug our shoulders as home ownership reverts to what it was in the 19th century: a privilege, the exclusive preserve of people with large incomes or wealthy parents.”

Mr Boles will claim that the inflation in house prices in recent decades has been unacceptable and was caused by artificial restrictions on building. He will highlight figures showing that if the price of food had risen in line with housing over the past 30 years, a chicken would cost £47 and a jar of coffee £20.

“In the 1990s, the average person setting aside five per cent of their income each week could save up a deposit on a house after eight years,” he will say. “Today it would take the same person 47 years.”

The planning minister will add that the public must accept that more building is required on greenfield sites, saying: “We’ve got plenty of undeveloped land to spare.” He told this newspaper: “We need to build more, not all of it can be satisfied by empty homes and 'brownfield’ sites, so we will need to build quite a lot on currently undeveloped land. England is not massively overdeveloped.” He added: “I am not a critic of Nimbys. My job is to create a system that persuades them not to object but to get involved.

“We have comprehensively failed to persuade people to embrace the level of house building that is required. We are in this terrible vicious circle where we have built ugly stuff, which does not involve local people and does not bring them any benefit in terms of improved local infrastructure or anything else. They hate it and so they fight any further proposals tooth and nail, perfectly understandably. And the process of fighting it means much less land gets planning permission and the value of land goes through the roof. So the cost of building becomes completely unaffordable, so people build c--p.”

Under plans to be announced on Thursday, local people would keep up to 25 per cent of revenues from a Community Infrastructure Levy which builders pay to win planning permission to spend on community projects, such as a village hall.

“Work out what you want, where you want it, what you want it to look like, the money that enables you to reopen the municipal pool,” he Mr Boles said. He insisted that he understood opposition to development and had personal experience of fighting it: his father was the head of the National Trust. “I was a Nimby once, and my entire family were,” he added.

Last year, The Daily Telegraph led a campaign called Hands Off Our Land urging the Government not to weaken protections for greenfield land amid proposals to “simplify” the planning system. Ministers later agreed to a compromise.
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