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Old November 29th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #1
cnapan
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Exclamation Newsnight programme about housebuilding

Was on tonight - should be available via Iplayer later:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk25

Interesting takeaways for me in the programme:

1) The guy in Letchworth claiming that councils prefer developers to avoid high quality materials and fittings in the streets which they will assume responsibility for when the development is complete... no wonder modern streetscapes look shite then... and no wonder modern developments don't give a damn about proper cycle networks etc. Far too costly to maintain!

2) The damning statistics about attitudes to new houses - a majority thought they were poor or 'below standard' (presumably in comparison with stuff we used to build). Of course people buy the shit anyway. What else can you do when there is so much demand and so little supply? Live with your parents all your life? The man from Wimpey kept out mentioning that the man in the 'pig ugly development' was happy. Well he just wanted a draft free house and more people to live nearby... hardly a glowing recommendation about the architecture...

3) The breakdown of what factors lie behind the current shortfall in housing. 43% is demand from recent immigration, the rest on domestic social factors.

4) The minister didn't want to say what area of farmland would be swallowed up, but Paxo was suggesting an area the size of Devon or London. He did say that it's been a long time since we were self-sufficient in food, but this hardly helps does it? So much for long term sustainability.

5) He did claim that if we were to release the land he wants, then we would 'solve' the housing crisis in 20 years. But then that would assume that demand hasn't grown either... which of course it will do.

Prepare the diggers! More noddy shite coming to a town near you!
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Old November 29th, 2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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Thanks for the tip.

But
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnapan View Post
Paxo was suggesting an area the size of Devon or London
Huh?

London: 607 sq miles
Devon: 2,590 sq miles

(both figures from Wikipedia)
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Old November 29th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Officer Dibble View Post
Thanks for the tip.

But

Huh?

London: 607 sq miles
Devon: 2,590 sq miles

(both figures from Wikipedia)
Yes, I suspect he was just throwing suggestions around. I'll work out the area later (I think it's about 2% of the country, but almost all of it will be development in England, most of it in the South East I presume as usual.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Since WW2 (and even) before London has lost tens of thousands of houses, demolished to make way for Mansion Blocks, Offices, many, many council estates, and appartment blocks.

Now we don't have enough houses, so we can build flats to our hearts' content but we are short on the houses! Looking back now what should have been done was to preserve everything! But unleash the developers to build massive skyscrapers on every brownfield site out there.

This way you: Maximise Houses
......................Maximise Flats
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Old November 29th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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there are plenty of houses but most are subdivided and sublet
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Old November 29th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the write-up.

What is this business under 4? Are they saying they will further expand London? If so, this is a complete joke. London's already one of the biggest cities in the world in terms of territory. What they need to do is to build in the empty/derelict spaces within Inner London. There are plenty of these in Tower Hamlets, Southark and so on. I think you can build lots of highrises there. That's the only way to go as far as I can see.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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He said it was everyones right to have a house with a garden, which Paxman argued with him that it was quite a statement considering the amount of space there is in the UK.

I think the only one who made any sense out of the panel was Wayne Hemingway.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Houses with gardens should be encouraged, alongside homegrown food for eco sensibility and self sufficiency. On apartment blocks the roof space should be made accessible to all residents as a communal garden. Give the roof enough depth for a decent soil fill and you get roof allotments to compensate for the lack of garden space. This has the added benefit of introducing more 'lungs' to our cities and will provide thermal insulation for the roof.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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I still don't think we've exploited the notion of houses with gardens that essentially are blocks of apartments.

There is still a definite snobbery/class divide in British society about people who prefer to live in a flat over a 'real' house. People who can't or won't maintain a garden really shouldn't have one. We don't have enough room to build simply ground level houses with gardens anymore, or at least we won't to be able to keep up with long term future population growth. We need to build cleverer solutions that people will have to get used to.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
I still don't think we've exploited the notion of houses with gardens that essentially are blocks of apartments.

There is still a definite snobbery/class divide in British society about people who prefer to live in a flat over a 'real' house. People who can't or won't maintain a garden really shouldn't have one. We don't have enough room to build simply ground level houses with gardens anymore, or at least we won't to be able to keep up with long term future population growth. We need to build cleverer solutions that people will have to get used to.
I don't think it's a class thing. Plenty of the most expensive properties are flats, not houses, and the middle classes would prefer a house with character and a small or miniscule garden over a house with no character and a huge lawn out the back.

In my view there are two different issues here. The first is how we build good environments to live in - regardless of population fluctuations, and the second is how we manage our society so that there aren't more and more people. Housing is just one of many things that suffers from the endless rise in demand. Any hope of sustainable food or energy dwindles each year we add another city's worth of people to the population. We just don't need to be doing this to ourselves. No matter how successful today's measures are at solving the housing, fuel, transport, health and other demands, it's all in vain if in 20 years you've gone and added another 3-5 million people to the population.

It really isn't too much to ask to limit the numbers of people coming into the country be no more than is required to stabilise the population. We then wouldn't be facing endless fights over whether this field should forever be turned to tarmac or that field.

Oh well...
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Old November 30th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill tonkso View Post
Houses with gardens should be encouraged, alongside homegrown food for eco sensibility and self sufficiency. On apartment blocks the roof space should be made accessible to all residents as a communal garden. Give the roof enough depth for a decent soil fill and you get roof allotments to compensate for the lack of garden space. This has the added benefit of introducing more 'lungs' to our cities and will provide thermal insulation for the roof.
I dont see any benefit in trying to spread the destruction of food production which must be considered part of the urban footprint ever wider and ever more inefficient, "farming" at any level is not eco-friendly. Best to keep its negative effects contained by utilising the scale of efficiency that dedicated farms bring.

Stacked farms specifically for London could be a good idea but again only really efficient if it serves a large part of the population. I believe these have been trialled in Singapore quite successfully, again we are behind the curve.

Gardens can be eco-diverse but that solely relies on the ideology and (a lot of) effort of the person living there. The same person would create a eco-diverse balcony or patio or roof top or shared space.

I would say that the minister is merely jumping on the well marketed post war home ideology of the suburban dream, easy imagery to sell but doesnt add up.

Last edited by potto; November 30th, 2012 at 04:10 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnapan View Post
I don't think it's a class thing.

.......there are two different issues here. The first is how we build good environments to live in - regardless of population fluctuations, and the second is how we manage our society so that there aren't more and more people. Housing is just one of many things that suffers from the endless rise in demand. Any hope of sustainable food or energy dwindles each year we add another city's worth of people to the population. We just don't need to be doing this to ourselves. No matter how successful today's measures are at solving the housing, fuel, transport, health and other demands, it's all in vain if in 20 years you've gone and added another 3-5 million people to the population.

It really isn't too much to ask to limit the numbers of people coming into the country be no more than is required to stabilise the population. We then wouldn't be facing endless fights over whether this field should forever be turned to tarmac or that field.

Oh well...
If it isn't a class thing then why are you being such a snob yourself!

You clearly have a predetermined idea of what a home should look like.

One I suspect is based on the very class issues that Darjole brought up that have been ground into a part of the mind set of this country for the past 300 years.

The romanticisation of the rural and the demonising of the urban.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
I still don't think we've exploited the notion of houses with gardens that essentially are blocks of apartments.
You mean like this?

From the AJ.
Housing goes back to back-to-back
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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All this talk about running out of space is absolutely ludicrous. We have vast amounts of space!

Currently only 6.8% of the UK is built on. That figure includes all rural roads and villages. This compares to nearly 13% of the UK land mass that is covered by forest. People get upset that we are losing our woodland when in fact it is actually increasing and covers nearly double the land that urban delopment takes up.

source

So.....those arguing that we should all be packed into flats in urban cores because we lack space are really saying that this is their personal preference and they would like to force everyone else to do the same.

I agree with Bowater. We need to build houses - and lots of them.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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you probably call zone 4 the urban core

Obviously we will need to build those high speed rail links to zone 9, which of course wont happen.

Last edited by potto; November 30th, 2012 at 03:42 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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It's not about running out of space but creating never ending sprawl. Why waste precious land on houses when you can build high density mid/high rises and house far more people this way than in suburbia of the same size. What is so wrong with flats?
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potto View Post
you probably call zone 4 the urban core
I don't even know what you mean by that? There is nothing wrong with houses with gardens.

If we weren't so overpopulated we wouldn't be in half the mess we are in now anyway. Why is immigration STILL higher than our job growth?

What I want to see is the stabilisation of the world population, the planet cannot sustain this population growth for much longer.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #18
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because flats are so 19th Century European Bohemia which reminds us of the EU and then the Schengen Agreement and.... before you know it immigration! Must ignore that the UK did its 100% rural to urban migration thing some 100 years ago. Just keep reading This England magazine and voting UKIP.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill tonkso
There is nothing wrong with houses with gardens.

What I want to see is the stabilisation of the world population, the planet cannot sustain this population growth for much longer.
Sprawl?

Last edited by El_Greco; November 30th, 2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill tonkso View Post
I don't even know what you mean by that? There is nothing wrong with houses with gardens.

If we weren't so overpopulated we wouldn't be in half the mess we are in now anyway. Why is immigration STILL higher than our job growth?

What I want to see is the stabilisation of the world population, the planet cannot sustain this population growth for much longer.
You actually walk around this country and you worry about the lack of houses with gardens? I find that rather bizarre frankly.

If the Tory Party didn't include well off students in the immigration figures to titillate the front pages then maybe you wouldn't be getting so hysterical and perhaps there would be a bit more job growth.

And what on earth has Global population growth got to do with this discussion? Are you on a campaign to spread the garden centre industry into Africa or Bangladesh or something?

London sees migration because it is a successful city not because everyone is having 9 children because they are so poor.

London's population is lower than it was before the war so no need to spread the millions with their lawn-mowed gardens over the South Downs just like the post war governments did. And as we know, everyone loves a "new town".
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