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· ***Alexxx***
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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.
Finally! Someone who I agree with! The problem with SCC (as much as I love it) its full of people who like 'experimental' urban planning, and see that has the future. Apartments were never built because people preferred them, but more for economical reasons. If land value was low, then I highly doubt they would get built, which is why countries like the US have suburbs, they can afford to do it.
 

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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
Well you can have it. Better than the ones the thread was started for. We just have to create many times more high density acco in the central parts to make space in the outskirts.



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:
The trick is to make apartments much less boxy and more like a living space one would enjoy. Agree - todays apartments are either too boxy, too dark and grim OR expensive riversider penthouses.

London needs to grow out of the idea of rent a boxy apartment until you can buy a similarly boxy house but with a garden.

We dont have space - the only way is up. Apartments is a nice compromise.


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.

Great post.

Which is better ? A crappy piece of land wasting away as expensive self storage - to serve for 5-6 of BBQ days in a year OR a nicely maintained communal area at the end of the street.

Now if you do away with the private garden - then is there really a need for a door which opens on a street. We dont need so many 2 story houses. They can easily create 3-4 times the space if converted into large spacious flats with open balconies.

Europe did it 50 years back - we stuck with our gardens like that one obstinate kid.
 

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I think you will find you have it back to front. It was the suburb that was highly experimental and heavily marketed as the future a long time ago.

A new product originally based on a mix of pseudo religious ideas of spirtual cleansing (no wonder it took off like it did in the US) during the real and the imagined horrors of industrialisation and later on in the culture of unfettered consumerism in the 1950s it became re-imagined as the upgrade path. The enabler was transport tech that in turn has found to be wanting and unsustainable. This experiment went sour mere decades after it first appeared, in the UK the backlash started with the Greenbelt movement in the 1930s. What is the magical thing that has suddenly changed since then? If the US has so much space for suburbs ask yourself why it had to invent inner city regeneration in the 1970s?

What we see today is a mere return to the values of urbanism that humans have always cherished for thousands of years, community and facility. A "back garden" is merely a technicality that has been answered a myriad ways all over the world. The courtyard, the park, the roof top, the yard, the street, the balcony, the communal garden etc. These are not futuristic fantasies.
 

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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.
If you like garden or farm - move out of the city. Travel more . Simple
You cant have it both ways.

Well you could - if you are a billionaire and buy a detached mansion in Bishop AVe. Just pay for the previlige.

Whats odd is that - its the norm to have small (or 2) story terraced houses within stone's throw of London Bridge / Victoria stations / West End . Thats a colossal misuse of the space. A whole street could easily be replaced by a 9-10 story tower without losing living space and still leave space for a good sized communal area while using a fifth of the land footprint.


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!!
While this is true , I m not sure if this is very practical. Even if you simply doubled the radii (4 times area) of Greater London - 100s of Billions would be needed to get similar grade transport facilities for people to come to work to the centre.

Compare this against - increasing decent quality apartment acco available in the center itself so that people who do not want the Detached House / Garden fantasy house (just yet) can afford to live comfortably.
 

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.

I've always been impressed by this arrangement, on City Road in Islington.

The high-density terraced houses presumably have no garden at the back - maybe a 'yard' there.

But at the front, the houses have their individual bits of green, and then a communal space along the whole parade, which is still private, behind a high hedge, and with gates to the pavement.

Children always used to be playing there.

And this is on London's Inner Ring Road, remember.

http://binged.it/UJMVg4

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The suburbs in the USA relied on very cheap oil, and no consideration of energy use (and I don't mean the lawn mowers below).


This is what the marines who fought up the D-Day beaches came back to.


As for our own future low-density, detached surburbs: we cannot build them on any scale. We would be unable to meet the Climate Change Act obligations we have set ourselves.

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This thread springs to mind

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28003435

UK faces 'significant' shortage of farmland by 2030

The report warns that there may be tough choices ahead on how the UK uses land

Britain is running out of land for food and faces a potential shortfall of two million hectares by 2030 according to new research.

The report, from the University of Cambridge, says the growing population plus the use of land for energy crops are contributing to the gap.

It criticises the government's lack of a coherent vision on how to make the most of UK farm land.

The authors warn that tough choices may need to be made on future land use.

The total land area of the UK amounts to over 24 million hectares with more than 75% of that used for farming.
 

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.

I've always been impressed by this arrangement, on City Road in Islington.

The high-density terraced houses presumably have no garden at the back - maybe a 'yard' there.

But at the front, the houses have their individual bits of green, and then a communal space along the whole parade, which is still private, behind a high hedge, and with gates to the pavement.

Children always used to be playing there.

And this is on London's Inner Ring Road, remember.

http://binged.it/UJMVg4
While I like this arrangement better than some other terraced housing- I still feel that even this will not acheive the density the core of a mega city like London should have.

4-5 story townhouses are the only kind which can give us at least the bedroom density - but of course not the habitation density because they are meant for super rich who have 6-7 beds for a family of 4.

BTW another scourge I failed to mention about row housing was on street parking (on both sides of the road) - thats one more reason why I feel that London needs to slowly start the cleansing by using private developers as a tool to drive "house with a garden" people out to suburbs. The roads will be so much smoother with the cars parked in the underground car park

Build enough tall builds around and the little gardens will be even less sought after.

This will gradually result in fall in property prices due to increased availability and the people who crave gardens will be able to move out to a better property at a more affordable price. SO its almost a win win except you have to choose the lifestyle. Travel from suburb & enjoy garden vs Live near work and have a yuppy lifestyle in a flat.

Apartments need to be made sexier - I am sure many people will go for it if it offers convenience & lifestyle.
 

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Some points about the strengths & weaknesses of flats vs detached houses. Good soundproofing in the floors and walls of flats are not a high tech or luxury item, they are merely value engineered out of most real estate developments in recent decades. Flats & houses as a format can't be blamed for this, it's a poor design choice foisted upon us customers.

-Why do people covet detached houses over semis or even terraces. Other than an easy way to wheel your bin from the front of the house to the back what purpose does it serve. If you have a front & back garden then surely the bits to the side are wasted space.

-Why are the curvy street layouts of modern estates with their oddly shaped plots so commonly used. Surely with grid layouts (or similar) they could fit more houses (without sacrificing on home size) and make better use of the space. This means they get more money from the piece of land and visitors don't get lost by the confusing road layout.
 

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Some points about the strengths & weaknesses of flats vs detached houses. Good soundproofing in the floors and walls of flats are not a high tech or luxury item, they are merely value engineered out of most real estate developments in recent decades. Flats & houses as a format can't be blamed for this, it's a poor design choice foisted upon us customers.

-Why do people covet detached houses over semis or even terraces. Other than an easy way to wheel your bin from the front of the house to the back what purpose does it serve. If you have a front & back garden then surely the bits to the side are wasted space.

-Why are the curvy street layouts of modern estates with their oddly shaped plots so commonly used. Surely with grid layouts (or similar) they could fit more houses (without sacrificing on home size) and make better use of the space. This means they get more money from the piece of land and visitors don't get lost by the confusing road layout.
I think there were national planning guidance changes in the 1970s, which did this.

Curvy cul-de-sacs and so on provided more variety, less speedy traffic and allegedly less burglary.

But it also provided more social isolation.
 

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D-Day beaches? I thought they were otherwise engaged in the Pacific theatre?
Ok then, Pacific theatre.

Someone has commented:
There were a few US Marines in the European front of the Second World War, and mostly in Ireland. The majority of the USMC strength was in the Pacific front of the war.

From what I have read, the issue was more political in a way. After WW1, the public was brainwash in believing the Marines had brought the United States fame worldwide for their actions at the Battle of Belleau Wood.

In truth, the Army has done a lot too during the war and was mostly forgotten. So they decided not to allow the Marines back in the European Front to see actions.
 

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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
The subtlety of difference between what I want and what affect other choices have on me was missed. I was answering a 'what I want' with my own. Take the issue up with them, not me, unless you think my desire to have my private garden is somehow a right I should forego. I may not like my personal space, doesn't mean I think others don't deserve the right. I like my private garden. Why should it be given up? Why not personal space altogether? Why draw the line at YOUR selfish - and frankly minority - position? Telling me you don't like having a garden or think we should all be martyrs to the cause is a load of old socks.

Then there's the other missed point...

Travelling through and living in and near the big city without the back gardens has a big impact on me. Its the collective affect. Back to back built up and paved conurbations are extremely unhealthy. Someone's got to compromise but it doesn't mean we base the compromise or shift on personal selfish whims rather than science, welfare and economics. Where the line is currently drawn is an uneasy compromise but mostly sustainable and arguably what most want. Not what political think tank cronies and autistic TP fanboys think (usually what others) want.

At least understand the needs wants and consequences before preaching about belt tightening. There's nothing worse than meddling puritans. What priority do you change when the population reaches 70m? What about 80m? 90m? Meanwhile they're still demolishing the North...
 

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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!!
Population growth would be greater, emigration, occupancy levels and prices would drop. Those who would otherwise be living outside the region would be attracted to it. The population of the South East is close to that of the similarly sized equivalent covering New York but NY has not traditionally had the localised densities funnelled into the land between the protected areas. London has a bigger commuter footprint and more land within the same radius. The population could be similar or a lot more but it would likely be spread more within the megacity. Until it gets urbanised and density rises. This is now happening a lot in the U.S. For the record, NY at its greatest is about 20m, the region I referred to about 22m, a million or so less than the London equivalent. You probably think its about 10-12m for 'greater greater London'. Its 23m.

A very similar article if not the same one was linked to after a similar thread was started by a multi-account user a couple of years ago. Apples oranges and double standards. I don't need some half-witted journalist to tell me what to think. I know the issue is not the overall density. I don't want live in a very big suburb that takes an hour to escape because density in Scotland, Wales and the far north of England is so low.

If you're who I think you are then covering the whole of South and Central England with a New York Outer Suburban sprawl is the desire. For that you don't need country estates. You probably need guns though.
 

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Sure, the point is that a garden is a commodity, there should be a value attached to it. Something that greenbelt development is notoriously poor at doing. There are a myriad of ancient and long proven ways to replicate the benefits of a dedicated private garden in different forms in tighter urbanism and good town planning surely ultimately has to prioritise resources eventually.

Anyway its not like back gardens are a dying facility in the UK not even in London they surely form the vast majority of households and I would guess a large proportion are wasted in short term rented and shared accommodation.
 

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If you like garden or farm - move out of the city. Travel more . Simple
You cant have it both ways.

Well you could - if you are a billionaire and buy a detached mansion in Bishop AVe. Just pay for the previlige.

Whats odd is that - its the norm to have small (or 2) story terraced houses within stone's throw of London Bridge / Victoria stations / West End . Thats a colossal misuse of the space. A whole street could easily be replaced by a 9-10 story tower without losing living space and still leave space for a good sized communal area while using a fifth of the land footprint.
I'm not having it both ways if I want a garden and you don't and I must move out because you don't want my garden to exist. I was responding to the idea that having a garden is somehow not desirable. Well its my right. That's not the reason for wanting other's gardens to be protected. That's for health and environmental reasons. I thought I was abundantly clear enough in my post about my views on gardens I might own and those I don't but obviously not.

I can't see where me wanting to keep my suburban back garden somehow means I want a mansion in Hampstead and no I don't think its a good idea to get rid of small back gardens in inner London and the arguments are nothing to do with personal preference.
 

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Sure, the point is that a garden is a commodity, there should be a value attached to it. Something that greenbelt development is notoriously poor at doing. There are a myriad of ancient and long proven ways to replicate the benefits of a dedicated private garden in different forms in tighter urbanism and good town planning surely ultimately has to prioritise resources eventually.

Anyway its not like back gardens are a dying facility in the UK not even in London they surely form the vast majority of households and I would guess a large proportion are wasted in short term rented and shared accommodation.

On this I entirely agree and it would be preferable to the poor modern developments that have sprung up all over the place and suit parts of Inner London very well too.
 

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Travelling through and living in and near the big city without the back gardens has a big impact on me. Its the collective affect. Back to back built up and paved conurbations are extremely unhealthy. Someone's got to compromise but it doesn't mean we base the compromise or shift on personal selfish whims rather than science, welfare and economics. Where the line is currently drawn is an uneasy compromise but mostly sustainable and arguably what most want. Not what political think tank cronies and autistic TP fanboys think (usually what others) want.

At least understand the needs wants and consequences before preaching about belt tightening. There's nothing worse than meddling puritans. What priority do you change when the population reaches 70m? What about 80m? 90m? Meanwhile they're still demolishing the North...
This subject does seem to attract some very obsessive people with strong views on how others should be forced to live in a city. I can't think of anything worse than living in a concrete jungle of high rise apartment blocks with the only green spaces being small municipal parks with tended shrubs and close cropped grass. Most people have a desire to live with some reminder of the natural world in the shape of trees and the sound of birdsong. Of course some gardens are useless in this regard, but many are not - my own (slightly neglected at times) garden provides a habitat for many birds and insects, also frogs, squirrels and hedgehogs. I also allow a number of native plants and flowers to live and seed themselves. In this respect it does provide something useful to other people who will never set foot in it. It is useful for a lot more things than six barbeques a year.

As for London, only a fool would think that gardens won't be wanted, desired or needed for generations to come - in certain areas they may be used to expand a property but it is rare for them to be eradicated entirely. If the outer suburbs suffer increased density I suspect houses with gardens will become increasingly desirable.
 

· Concerto Grosso
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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.
Not ours. The builder - a small local firm that only does 2 or 3 houses a time - landscaped the garden and planted it all out. We're in the process of removing that and making it into a lawn so the kids can play better. They spend most of the weekend outside in the garden. It's not a huge one, but enough. As soon as the weather's slightly decent they want to go out.

I also have a wonderful high street within walking distance that acts as a centre of the area and it's quite amazing how many people you get to know just by using the local shops/banks/cafes. Post-war areas are filled with decaying precincts, and more recent developments include a large out of town precinct set around a giant car park and somewhat disconnected from nearby housing.
 

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☕ Ellie
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Debates like this just end up full of "no one uses their gardens", "everyone wants a garden", with neither side willing to understand that everyone's different. No, I do use my garden regularly, but have lived on my own without one too. I couldn't do without one. That said I'd find a detached house odd and too isolated, semi is fine, terraced probably better. Properly proportioned terraces intertwined with bright, open, friendily lain out apartments should be the future, with country developments limited to clustered villages rather than sprawling detached houses.

Now garages are usually a poor use of space that'd be better made into a room for people who don't use it to store vehicles or as a toolshed. Ours is still lader for one half and bike/tool place for the other, but even then it's not used to its full potential.
 
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