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Bad Town Planning

22941 Views 88 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  The Champ
So came across Chafford Hundred for the first time in my life, a development of 5,000 new homes in 90s and 00s. Judging from the pictures this looks one of the most souless places I've ever seen - 90s planning at its worst surely:



It makes me want to cry.

Is this the best we can do? Does anyone know anything else about this location or other examples of poor modern town planning I can get upset by.
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Yeah I have to agree with that. I don't understand our obsession with back-gardens either when, in the most part, people will only spend a few hours at best there per week. Most back gardens are just used for storing rubbish.
If I was looking to buy a house, I would want a garden, and if I could afford it - it would be a detached house. The reason being, I like space, and so from what I can see so do most people. I work 6 - 7 days a week and normally when I'm off work its raining :(

But on the off chance I have time off work, and the sun is out I want a private space outside
I like the way you think, but points g and h I would change to maximum 1 car parking space per apartment and the "Open Communal Area" would be better handled as public parks on separate lots.
3> About the developers - place these restrictions

a> Apartments Only
b> Minimum height > the diagonal of the plot. Higher the better.
c> Minimum bedroom space (number of beds) created greater than 4 times what its is replacing.
d> Minimum Bed size = 15 by 15 ft
e> Minimum Living room = 20 by 15 ft (excluding kitchen)
f> Minimum Balcony = 10 by 15 ft (to serve as a small garden)
g> Minimum Parking (pref underground) = 1.5 times the number of apartments
h> Minimum Open Communal Area = 25% of plot size.
i> Lift required for all 4 stories and above (actually in practice only 4+ stories will be granted permission anyway)
Apartment blocks in Berlin (possibly the rest of Germany - I've only been in Berlin) are built as a sort of ring with a communal area in the middle. It's actually rather nice. Was invited downstairs to a neighbours barbecue the other day so it does encourage an actual community. I think it would be a good design to emulate.
I like the way you think, but points g and h I would change to maximum 1 car parking space per apartment and the "Open Communal Area" would be better handled as public parks on separate lots.
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If you have a nice back garden with some degree of privacy it makes life a lot more enjoyable and relaxing in the warmer months. I'm off to work shortly, but I'm just munching on some strawberries that I picked.

Would I ever go back to living in a boxy flat and having to put up with the noise of people surrounding me on all sides? Would I hell! :cheers:
Yeah I have to agree with that. I don't understand our obsession with back-gardens either when, in the most part, people will only spend a few hours at best there per week. Most back gardens are just used for storing rubbish.
I think it comes into its own as you get busier and maybe have kids. When I was single we all used to head off to the park (hence my fond memories of a certain Brunel viaduct near Ealing:) ) but these days its easier to grab a quiet cup of coffee in my own garden as and when. The kids have easy access to their toys and all in all I would not swop it for a flat for anything.

I wonder if the voices proposing loosing such a thing are wide eyed young, childless idealists?
If you have a nice back garden with some degree of privacy it makes life a lot more enjoyable and relaxing in the warmer months. I'm off to work shortly, but I'm just munching on some strawberries that I picked.

Would I ever go back to living in a boxy flat and having to put up with the noise of people surrounding me on all sides? Would I hell! :cheers:
You don't need children to see the appeal. Two cats and a classic car (in need of constant TLC) are all you need to want a house and garden :)
A detached or even spacious semi with a decent sized garden is an understandable desire for many, I see the attraction. It's people wanting crappy little green patches (that they rarely manage properly) bordering their maisonette among tightly packed terraces in zone 2 that's daft. My gf lived in such a place until moving recently. Not only was the garden small, the owners, who were live-in landlords, never used it and worse let it become an ugly collection of weeds and overgrown grass so we were put-off.

Looking out from my gf's former bedroom window, which allowed a view of all neighbouring gardens, I could see that the local gardens were rarely used. They were too small to play football or whatever with kids, and the area had a number of decent parks and kids' play facilities nearby. Additionally, many residents were short-medium term tenants in shared accommodation, hardly the demographic to look after and nurture a garden. It would have made more sense, if not realistic, to have a common private area of a large size.
Or a model train shed, a motorbike shed and a shed for tools :)

Whatever. It seems some people are keen to prescribe how the rest of us should live. Sure gardens may not be as big as we would like but houses are more expensive than we like. The answer is to build lots and lots of houses, with gardens, that are detached that families can afford not stick people in things they don't want.
You don't need children to see the appeal. Two cats and a classic car (in need of constant TLC) are all you need to want a house and garden :)
You cannot build lots and lots of detached houses - it uses up too much land, and too much energy.

You can build low-rise flats, mansion blocks and terraced two and three storey houses. That is sustainable and popular, I think. And of course, being on this board, you build in a mesh of good public transport, cycleways and footpaths.
Or a model train shed, a motorbike shed and a shed for tools :)

Whatever. It seems some people are keen to prescribe how the rest of us should live. Sure gardens may not be as big as we would like but houses are more expensive than we like. The answer is to build lots and lots of houses, with gardens, that are detached that families can afford not stick people in things they don't want.
I like my garden, it's not full of rubbish. My front lawn is not paved over. I like the idea of the Green Belt and countryside - I use it a lot. I wouldn't want to live in a city whose houses lack gardens, even if people don't appreciate them. Perhaps its just me.

If it wasn't for planning restrictions, green belt and density protection, London would have a core as dense as New York's and be as populous as Tokyo, only it would stretch from Dover and Poole to Huntingdon and Bicester.
I misunderstood. I thought you menat as in open to the commen public. Old parts of Stockholm are also built as perimeter-blocks. When not split up by walls the courtyards work great. Some are mostly parkspace with playgrounds. Awesome.
Apartment blocks in Berlin (possibly the rest of Germany - I've only been in Berlin) are built as a sort of ring with a communal area in the middle. It's actually rather nice. Was invited downstairs to a neighbours barbecue the other day so it does encourage an actual community. I think it would be a good design to emulate.
I hate commuting, I like my park, I like my countryside and I like my natural habitats

Something has to give. It is called priorities
I like my garden,
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This is not popular. Not popular at all. Not even vaguely close to being anywhere near popular. In fact its unpopular. Very very very unpopular. As unpopular as a bacon sandwich at a Bar Mitzvah.

Ask anybody who would rather live in a flat or a detached house with a nice bit of garden.

New detached houses are massively more energy efficient than the victorian and edwardian houses that still make a majority of the housing stock.

Detached house use up more space sure. We have built on 5% of the UK, another fraction of a percent so we can live in houses we want to live in seems reasonable.

Do not try to dictate to the majority of the population, people don't want what you are trying to force upon them.
You cannot build lots and lots of detached houses - it uses up too much land, and too much energy.

You can build low-rise flats, mansion blocks and terraced two and three storey houses. That is sustainable and popular, I think. And of course, being on this board, you build in a mesh of good public transport, cycleways and footpaths.
No it would not. For the simple reason if it did then we would all be living in vast country estates! If we doubled, then doubled again then doubled about 10% would be built upon.

At the risk of bringing facts to a barroom argument: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096

If the amount of building you suggested took place we could all live in 20 houses!!! Ridiculous!!
I like my garden, it's not full of rubbish. My front lawn is not paved over. I like the idea of the Green Belt and countryside - I use it a lot. I wouldn't want to live in a city whose houses lack gardens, even if people don't appreciate them. Perhaps its just me.

If it wasn't for planning restrictions, green belt and density protection, London would have a core as dense as New York's and be as populous as Tokyo, only it would stretch from Dover and Poole to Huntingdon and Bicester.
Ummm top 5 desires from the US house market in 2013 in a country with vast expanses of potential building land that invented the never ending sprawling suburbs of detached houses with gardens

This is not popular. Not popular at all. Not even vaguely close to being anywhere near popular. In fact its unpopular.
5. Urban Homes With Amenities
Home buyers used to covet a three-quarter acre lot. Today’s buyers — both the Gen X and Gen Y generations as well as empty-nest retirees—see that same lot and think “maintenance.”

Instead, they’re opting for city living, in big cities like New York as well as smaller urban centers such as Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. These buyers seek active lifestyles and opportunities to socialize. They want to be near transit hubs. And they’re looking for buildings with amenities.
I can not speak for the others but have you been to San Jose? Seriously, dense?? You are having a right laugh! A couple of city blocks in the centre with vaguely high rise then mile after mile of suburbia.

3/4 acre lot is miles beyond what people in the UK can even dream of. Here 1/8 of an acre is far more likely, just the right size to let the kids loose and takes a hour to mow. Perfect.

I seriously doubt people in this country will ever prefer flats (call them apartments, lofts or anything other weasel politician word you like but they are, remain and will always be flats).
Ummm top 5 desires from the US house market in 2013 in a country with vast expanses of potential building land that invented the never ending sprawling suburbs of detached houses with gardens
The 2011 census showed that the fastest growing areas in England are places like London or Manchester. These are unlikely to revert back to detached housing or even semi-detached developments. Many people will opt for suburbs, of course, but at one point the commute times become a huge factor in determining housing choice. London, in particular, with 40% of net demographic growth, is now clearly moving upwards.
The majority of people don't want to use public transport, recycle or have tall buildings in their cities because it 'spoils' their view.

And look where that laziness and selfishness is taking us.
Do not try to dictate to the majority of the population, people don't want what you are trying to force upon them.
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