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Green Belt, Brown Field or The Blues?


In much of the USA, the cost of a house broadly reflects the labour and material cost of building it  (land is usually cheap - as farm land is here)

Not so in most of England during my time on Earth

Principal root cause?   -  demand for houses is greater than the supply.

So we need to build many more houses.  Most politicians seem to agree with that view at present

So: where and how should they be built?

As cheap as possible?     Such solutions do exist

1.   Blocks of flats?

      BUT didn’t we do that in decades past-leading to the ‘Sink Estates’

2.   Back-to-back terrace houses?

       They are doing so in Newcastle again.

       BUT didn’t we pull thousands of them down in the 1950 and1960s?

3.   Converting empty office blocks ?

       BUT where are folk meant to work if the offices no longer provide employment?

      OK: computerization is still improving office efficiency to some degree…..BUT…….all you are doing is creating more flats (see 1, above)

4.   Developing other industrial sites for housing use.........BUT....... what would be better for our long term future: more firms like what we had at De Havillands - jobs, skills, employment, exports, learning….... or the Hatfield Airfield site as it is now?  

OR......... creating more of what is currently cherished as best ?

By the careful expansion of our most popular towns and villages in the styles that they already are?

Problem is that Green Belt laws make that difficult.  Which ’Not in Our Back Yard’ pressures encourage many politicians to re-inforce.

But surely that is what would be best?  Probably with a minimum ’spec’ of: three bedrooms, a bit of garden and a set of solar panels on the roof.  At a rate that does not ’damage’ the value of existing houses; but with a long term aim of getting the cost of housing down to about 15% of earnings levels.

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