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Archive for the ‘2004’ Category

I seem to have spent the last few weeks reading research reports about housing. Housing really has become a “sexy” political issue and it’s been long overdue. When I started publicly criticising the housing industry in the late 1990’s it was done with gut feeling and no inside knowledge or detail other than some leaked research from a friend who was working for a mortgage company and was able to show me some in house research about the publics attitude towards new mass housebuilding including the shocking statistic that only 29 per cent of those looking for a house would consider a new build house from a mass housebuilder. Thats a similar percentage of car buyers who would consider buying a Rover but the difference being that car buyers have a fantastic choice of brands, models, designs and service to cater for all tastes and pockets.

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Get the bunting out there’s something to celebrate. The “architectural/ design competition “once restricted to the design of large public schemes in high profile locations by high profile international architects has come to small town UK. I’m not talking about grandiose schemes involving the flooding of Bradford town centre or turning Barnsley into a series of Tuscanesque hill villages but rather the regeneration of 1960’s social housing schemes and the new build developments on land that was once industrial. These are the kind of projects whose destiny used to rest with developers and housebuilders who generally got their own way. Thanks to the likes of CABE, the ODPM and some planning authorities that are feeling newly empowered, we are, hopefully about to see some vastly improved master plans and housing schemes reach fruition.

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