Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Housing Interference

Standard English house, boringly normal – Klaus Hausman

From our Swindon Correspondent:

From the Times

Writing in The Times Red Box today, Jenrick says people have become disillusioned with developers after decades of poor design and that new homes must be beautiful to win public approval.

“Urban planning since the war has at times been a disaster,” he writes. “It is little wonder people are sceptical of new housing. It is a logical response to unimaginative development and poor planning.
Now class, what happened to housing just after the war? Yes, Milton, that’s right, the government interfered in the housing market with the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act.
This had two effects. Firstly, not enough land available in general, so developers stopped caring so much about building houses well or with much consideration of aesthetics. Because it will sell anyway.
Secondly, developers had to navigate all these planning rules, getting designs rejected, changing them until they were accepted. Out of the back of that, you get designs that you know are going to tick the boxes set by the bureaucrats.

If we liberated land, we would have more competition for housing, more self-builds. People could choose to build a design to their dreams rather than a dreary box. Or developers could go wild with something adventurous like an art deco revival. Boring houses would be unsold as there would be plenty of supply and the market would become more innovative.

This proposal is just more government to fix broken government.
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13 days ago

Having finally forced myself to mow my own lawn, I tremble at the thought of mowing that of Muckross House.

But I agree that, if the land was made available, more houses would be built. Perhaps the old sugar beet farms can be recycled??

13 days ago
Reply to  Boganboy

Yes they can be recycled into wheat farms.

What *would* be useful would be to recycle some of the empty space round the Wilson-era tower blocks into two-storey council housing by a simple amendment to the 1947 Act so that the green space to dwelling ratio intended could be met by specifying it directly instead of by limiting the number of dwellings per acre that ignores the possibility of tower blocks. You can have tower blocks in the City where most of the green space is churchyards because the 1947 Act ignores the possibility of shops and offices.

13 days ago

Jenrick implies that architects everywhere became sloppy, or planners did poor planning. But, as Tim says elsewhere today, it’s not the individuals but the system they’re serving under: that Act that was designed to, and did, cripple homebuilding by subordinating it to magic equations.

So I am skeptical of john77’s “simple amendment” substituting a more livable equation. The Titanic isn’t “better” with a fresh coat of paint!

13 days ago

Architects and planners alike became enamored of Brutalist concrete blocks. Since the people who were to live in them had no say, unsurprisingly we have a lot of really ugly stuff from that period to this day.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
12 days ago

Why is a house remaining unsold a Bad Thing? Surely it can be used to accommodate asylum seekers?

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