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Rabbit Hutches On Postage Stamps

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After reading The Guardian 'Better of Renting' article (nothing new there, but nice to see in MSM). I was struck by the

"and both [Germany and Switzerland] are building new houses that are, on average, 40% larger than their UK equivalents"
and the
"and the houses we have built are the smallest and costliest in Europe – 'rabbit hutches on postage stamps,' as the economist Alan W Evans once put it."

So I went searching for this Alan W Evans quote (I also searched the forums, couldn't find it).

Well, quite amazing, he hits the nail on the head on so many measure, the restriction of land supply (lack of planning permission), the British overestimation of urban development, tax or other financial incentives, political imbalances, and NIMBYism... and what is most amazing, this paper was published in 1991.

I'll post the summary and a bit of the conclusion

Summary. The supply of land for housing has been restricted by planning controls . The prices of land and of houses have risen in consequence . As a result land has been used with increasing intensity with infill, `town cramming' and smaller houses on less land-rabbit hutches on postage stamps' ; a destruction of the urban environment of the many to preserve a rural environment for a few . Why is the supply of land restricted? Firstly, it is suggested, because the British misapprehend the degree of urbanisation in their own country. Secondly, because rural and farming interests ensure that the planning system operates in their favour . And thirdly, and most importantly, because the planning process is tilted in favour of the existing residents of an area who seek to preserve their environment by resisting intruders . A number of suggestions are made to resolve the situation by increasing the supply of land or reducing the demand for land.
Conclusions

I shall now try to draw together the threads of this discussion. There has been an increased demand for land and housing because of an increasing population, an increasing number of households, rising incomes and the tax advantages of owneroccupation. There has been a restricted supply of land for housing, and I have argued that there appear to be three reasons for this. Firstly, the British population believe it is necessary. They do not recognise the social costs and, in my view, overestimate the extent of urban development. The second reason is that the existing situation is approved by the agricultural and rural interests which it serves . Finally, and most importantly, there is an imbalance in the political system, which results in the existing residents being able to protect their environment, whilst possible new residents do not have votes. The consequence is the description of recent urban development as comprising the construction of `rabbit hutches on postage stamps', the term I have used in the title.

All this seems paradoxical if you consider the aims of the founders of town planning in this country. Their idea of town planning was to get people out of the cities and into more rural areas where they would have space to live and to breathe; that people should have houses and gardens

and live in garden cities. In the late 20th century it would seem that the aim of town planning is to try and push people back into the cities. But is this really what we want?

Of course, in this paper I have only really dealt with the situation as regards residential development . Development restrictions have also affected industrial and commercial development . There have also been macro-economic consequences . The high price of land for industry results in

deindustrialisation, particularly in southem England. Rising house prices and high land prices result in low levels of saving and push up the rate of inflation, a process which has been investigated by John Muellbauer and his colleagues (Bover et a!., 1989). The high price of housing in this

country has caused many people to import housing services by buying homes, particularly second homes, abroad . This has been very noticeable in the last few years as people in southern England have tried to buy houses in France, where house prices are half those in southern England. This

results in the export of capital which might possibly be better invested in this country . Finally, the high price of land and housing

means that obtaining planning permission is itself financially profitable. This results in what economists call `rent seeking expenditure'

as developers spend money trying to obtain planning permission . This expenditure results in no useful economic benefit ; as far as the economic system is concerned, it is a deadweight loss.

Now, how do we deal with this situation ; what can be done? The suggestion that I made in the Institute of Economic Affairs paper No Room! No Room! (Evans, 1988) was that it might be possible to allow the developers to make what economists call `side payments' to compensate objectors . If the objectors feel that they are suffering from the proposed development then they could be compensated, with an agreement being reached in which compensation is paid for the reduction in the quality of their environment . Unfortunately this looks a little like bribery and for that reason this solution would probably not be acceptable. Nevertheless some move in this direction has occurred with the spread of planning gain agreements by which, if they obtain permission, developers agree to provide or pay for various amenities which may benefit local residents . The fact that compensation might work is indicated by an example I came across recently in Kenton, in north-west London . For some years Sainsbury's has been trying to build a supermarket there against strong opposition by local residents . Only the week before the delivery of the Denman Lecture it was announced that some local residents had agreed terms with Sainsbury's whereby the firm would buy their homes at a price 20 per cent above the market value in order, allegedly, to provide increased car parking space, and it was reported that the local home owners were deciding whether

this would mean that they would support the Sainsbury's proposal . In other words, if the price was high enough to compensate them for having to move they would be willing to move and also to support the proposed development.

A second possibility is that there might be a firmer lead from the centre, from the Department of the Environment, directing local authorities to increase the supply of land. However, I regard this as politically unlikely because the Department is now bidding for the green vote . Paradoxically,

of course it seems odd that rural land is regarded as better ecologically than back gardens, because in fact the way in which the modem farmer farms the land results in monoculture-the only thing that is allowed to be grown in the field is the single product which it is intended should be

grown. Pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. are used to eliminate all other vegetation and animal life . If you want to find frogs you are more likely to find them in back gardens in suburbs than in the country and the intensive development of agricultural land is one reason why, for

example, foxes and magpies have been moving into the suburbs . The countryside is more hostile to wildlife .

A third possibility is to attempt to reduce the demand for housing . This demand is artificially inflated . As I indicated at the beginning, a major reason for the increased demand for housing is. the extent of the tax advantages of owner-occupation, and it is worthwhile listing what the tax

advantages are . There is mortgage interest relief on loans up to E30000 ; there is no tax on what economists would call the imputed income from the investment in housing-Schedule A, which was such a tax, was abolished in 1961 ; there is no value added tax on housing (except on extensions); there is no capital gains tax on housing; and finally, since 1 April 1990 in England and Wales (and 1 April 1989 in Scotland) there have been no rates on housing. The sole change in the tax system which might result in a reduction in the demand for housing is the double community charge on second homes, but then even this may simply result in people being more likely to buy their homes in France . Now, to put it no more strongly, it seems paradoxical that on the one hand we have a planning system which many people believe is aiming correctly to restrict the amount of land which is used for housing, while, on the other hand, we have a tax system which encourages people to spend money on housing. So we restrict supply and we increase demand . Now it is virtually self-evident that these incentives which increase demand, given the supply restrictions, merely result in increased house prices . (The argument' one has heard recently that because of high house prices mortgage interest relief should be increased would indicate that some people believe that fires can be fought by pouring oil on them .)

If asked whether I anticipate any change in the situation in the 1990s, pessimistically I have to answer that I do not . The 1990s will re-run the 1980s; the housing market will be depressed for 2 or 3 years, and everyone will believe that the only problem is that of stimulating the demand

for housing. Somewhere around 1992 a new boom will start and a year or so after that people will begin to worry about the availability of housing. There may be some sort of rethink of the position towards the end of that boom in 1995-96 but I am afraid that when that boom ends the problem will once again be forgotten .

Linky : Evans 1991 - Rabbit Hutches On Postage Stamps

Makes me think the only option I have is to hope for an increase in planning permission and a reduction in land prices and build my own. Or simply rent for the duration of my time in the UK, building up savings, and then perhaps one day in my 50's or 60's buy a house, but not in the UK, I'll have one of those bigger & cheaper ones in Europe (or elsewhere) please.

oz

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I think theres different cultures. Like lots of big flats in germany but obviously without private gardens means high densities can be maintained.

Ive also noticed in america gardens are often tiny compared to the houses despite the vast quantities of land - in the south west at least...

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q18h1k5czm0d&scene=5065030&lvl=1&sty=b

There seems to be a desire in the UK for everyone to have a 200ft long garden with a large vegetable patch at the end of it. Probably not possible with our current overpopulation - a 200x50ft plot would be 1/4 acre.

It is somewhat ironic though that at the turn of the last century our housing stock was the envy of the rest of europe.

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I think theres different cultures. Like lots of big flats in germany but obviously without private gardens means high densities can be maintained.

Quite possibly. However I for one would forego a big garden for a bigger house, especially if there was better community amenities. This apparently is how they do it in Switzerland, all new developments must include good play areas, social spaces etc. Also looking at rentals in Zurich for example, they quote number of rooms (not just bedrooms) on the headline, but the #1 thing on the headline tag is the m2.

The place I'm renting at the moment is technically a 5 bedroom, I would actually say it has 2 doubles (just), 1 single, a box room, and "a room that is suitable for standing in". The neighbours down the road have had their place on the market for over 9 months as a 4 bedroom, a few weeks ago they had an extension put on and the place is now up for sale as 5 bedrooms, I watched them do the extension it was 'a standing room'.

It seems to me that the British have become used to tiny abodes, and honestly believe this island is crowded, it isn't, it's hype and a collective miscomprehension. For example see List of countries by population density .. We are on there you just have to scroll down a few pages (rank #51)

I think the preference for smaller houses isn't a preference for smaller housing at all, it's a preference for N.O.D.A.M/NIMBYism, and a preference for the lining of ones own pocket at the expense of others (social and economical).

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After reading The Guardian 'Better of Renting' article (nothing new there, but nice to see in MSM). I was struck by the and the

So I went searching for this Alan W Evans quote (I also searched the forums, couldn't find it).

Well, quite amazing, he hits the nail on the head on so many measure, the restriction of land supply (lack of planning permission), the British overestimation of urban development, tax or other financial incentives, political imbalances, and NIMBYism... and what is most amazing, this paper was published in 1991.

I'll post the summary and a bit of the conclusion

Linky : Evans 1991 - Rabbit Hutches On Postage Stamps

Makes me think the only option I have is to hope for an increase in planning permission and a reduction in land prices and build my own. Or simply rent for the duration of my time in the UK, building up savings, and then perhaps one day in my 50's or 60's buy a house, but not in the UK, I'll have one of those bigger & cheaper ones in Europe (or elsewhere) please.

oz

Excellent post ozbear.

(If a bit depressing! 1991!!! :o:( )

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I think theres different cultures. Like lots of big flats in germany but obviously without private gardens means high densities can be maintained.

Ive also noticed in america gardens are often tiny compared to the houses despite the vast quantities of land - in the south west at least...

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q18h1k5czm0d&scene=5065030&lvl=1&sty=b

There seems to be a desire in the UK for everyone to have a 200ft long garden with a large vegetable patch at the end of it. Probably not possible with our current overpopulation - a 200x50ft plot would be 1/4 acre.

It is somewhat ironic though that at the turn of the last century our housing stock was the envy of the rest of europe.

We were discussing the proposed Harlow North development in another thread.

Residential Area: 720ha

Dwellings: 25,000

Residents: 60,000

And I calculated that:

(...)

Very interesting to note that the residential part of it uses only 720ha, to house 60,000, in 25,000 dwellings. So, despite the average density (35.7 dwellings/ha), it uses very little land.

For a better understanding of the space needed for housing, in relation to the size of Britain, or "Rural" :rolleyes: England, or even the south-east, at similar densities: (BTW, please do check my maths. These results keep surprising, even me.)

1 million dwellings, housing 2.4 million people, would need 28,800ha, or 288sq.km, which is only:

0.12% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

0.22% of England's (130,410 sq km)

( Please notice that these were not 1% and 2%, but a tenth of 1%, and a tenth of 2%, to house 2.4 million people. )

And even if we were to build all these houses in the south-east, less than 62 miles from London :

(100km radius = 31,415 sq km) it would need only 0.92% of this area.

If my calculation was correct, then this country is much bigger, and housing uses much less land, than (...) VI propaganda implies.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.harlownorth.com/facts_and_figures.php Harlow North, facts and figures: Total area:1,526 ha; Urban area: 1,100 ha; Residential Area: 720ha; Dwellings: c25,000; Residents: 60,000;

(Note: I have used above only the residential area, as in most of the country we don't need more work space, schools etc., just a little more housing around existing communities.)

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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I think theres different cultures. Like lots of big flats in germany but obviously without private gardens means high densities can be maintained.

Ive also noticed in america gardens are often tiny compared to the houses despite the vast quantities of land - in the south west at least...

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q18h1k5czm0d&scene=5065030&lvl=1&sty=b

There seems to be a desire in the UK for everyone to have a 200ft long garden with a large vegetable patch at the end of it. Probably not possible with our current overpopulation - a 200x50ft plot would be 1/4 acre.

It is somewhat ironic though that at the turn of the last century our housing stock was the envy of the rest of europe.

We don't need 1/4 acres plots. Comfortable terrace houses, in plots of say 5m x 25m, would be a huge improvement on most of the current flats. 125sq.m each, double that to account for streets, 250sq.m = 40/ha, or 4,000/sq.km. A million of these plots would take 250 sq. km. Or:

0.10% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

0.19% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

0.79% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

But even a million of these large 1/4 acre plots you mentioned would take much less space than you are probable imagining. 4 plots/acre = 10 plots/ha, or 1,000 plots/sq km. A million plots would take 1,000 sq km. Double that to account for streets and roads (((mistake here, see note in edit))) = 2,000 sq km.

0.82% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

1.53% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

6.37% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

But again, we don't need plots this large. This was just to show that Britain, England and even the south-east is much bigger than people think - in relation to the space needed for human habitation.

Edit: And that "doubling" there was a big mistake. In a development with large 1/4 acre plots streets would take much less than half of the total area.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

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There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

Thanks. Very interesting.

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Well, quite amazing, he hits the nail on the head on so many measure, the restriction of land supply (lack of planning permission), the British overestimation of urban development, tax or other financial incentives, political imbalances, and NIMBYism... and what is most amazing, this paper was published in 1991.

Yes, all makes perfect sense. Unfortunately those views will enrage the "no shortage" brigade. "How could a lack of planning permission possibly affect house prices and stock when we have an oversupply already?" :lol:

What they fail to grasp is that it's irrelevant whether there really is a shortage anyway, because an oversupply can only help in reducing house prices. In my view there is an obvious shortage of housing where houses are needed most. And the only planning that is granted is for squalid shoe boxes tucked away in some corner with poor access.

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We don't need 1/4 acres plots. Comfortable terrace houses, in plots of say 5m x 25m, would be a huge improvement on most of the current flats. 125sq.m each, double that to account for streets, 250sq.m = 40/ha, or 4,000/sq.km. A million of these plots would take 250 sq. km. Or:

0.10% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

0.19% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

0.79% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

But even a million of these large 1/4 acre plots you mentioned would take much less space than you are probable imagining. 4 plots/acre = 10 plots/ha, or 1,000 plots/sq km. A million plots would take 1,000 sq km. Double that to account for streets and roads (((mistake here, see note in edit))) = 2,000 sq km.

0.82% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

1.53% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

6.37% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

But again, we don't need plots this large. This was just to show that Britain, England and even the south-east is much bigger than people think - in relation to the space needed for human habitation.

Edit: And that doubling was a big mistake. With large 1/4 acre plots streets would take a much smaller relative space.

Wow... on circa 1% you can house another 2.4 million, lets go nuts and assume 10 million need housing, slightly smaller plots and a bit of vertical for the city's n what not, and you are getting towards and extra 10 million inhabitants for call it 3% land usage.... and still mucher bigger than the 76m2 holes we're currently producing.

There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

Thanks, I will take a look.

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Wow... on circa 1% you can house another 2.4 million, lets go nuts and assume 10 million need housing, slightly smaller plots and a bit of vertical for the city's n what not, and you are getting towards and extra 10 million inhabitants for call it 3% land usage.... and still mucher bigger than the 76m2 holes we're currently producing.

Not 1%. :) 0.1%.

A tenth of 1%.

As you mentioned 2.4 million people, I assume you are talking about the Harlow North development. Right? So, with that same density:

1 million dwellings, housing 2.4 million people, would need 28,800ha, or 288sq.km, which is only:

0.12% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

0.22% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

0.92% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=154764&view=findpost&p=2790315

And my own example, with terrace houses, would be very similar: Plots of say 5m x 25m = 125sq.m each, double that to account for streets, 250sq.m = 40/ha, or 4,000/sq.km. A million of these plots would take 250 sq. km. Or:

0.10% of Britain's surface (243,610 sq km), or

0.19% of England's (130,410 sq km), or

0.79% of the south-east, less than 62 miles from London (100km radius = 31,415 sq km)

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Yes, all makes perfect sense. Unfortunately those views will enrage the "no shortage" brigade. "How could a lack of planning permission possibly affect house prices and stock when we have an oversupply already?" :lol:

What they fail to grasp is that it's irrelevant whether there really is a shortage anyway, because an oversupply can only help in reducing house prices. In my view there is an obvious shortage of housing where houses are needed most. And the only planning that is granted is for squalid shoe boxes tucked away in some corner with poor access.

Agreed.

But to be fair, in many cases that was a misunderstanding. Many posters that used to argue that there was no shortage were living in areas where there is no shortage. And their personal experiences influenced their views, which is understandable. I used to make the opposite mistake many. I live in the south, in an area with very acute shortage, and many times I forgot that there isn't such a shortage across the whole country.

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There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

Now this is just utterly immoral. Bonkers! Some 30 miles from central London, 9 acres for just 1 , one(!) house.

Full description:

We are delighted to offer for sale a fantastic piece of Land with planning permission to build a property. Planning Reference Number DC/09/1723 In total there are 9 acres which consist of paddocks and a vineyard.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/new-homes/property-28046791.html?utm_content=ealertspropertyimage&utm_medium=email&utm_source=emailupdates&utm_campaign=emailupdates_sep09&utm_term=buying&sc_id=5290202

The system is completely crazy. It's just despicable.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Now this is just utterly immoral. Bonkers! Some 30 miles from central London, 9 acres for just 1 , one(!) house.

The system is completely crazy. It's just despicable.

.

I dunno, with this coalition and the go ahead with the double council tax top up from central gov, perhaps buy it and seek permission for 30 1/4 plots (assume the other 1.5 acres for community purposes) and you have £16,666 per plot, which is probably about right.

Of course 500k for 9 acres of land with 1 house on it is just bonkers.

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I dunno, with this coalition and the go ahead with the double council tax top up from central gov, perhaps buy it and seek permission for 30 1/4 plots (assume the other 1.5 acres for community purposes) and you have £16,666 per plot, which is probably about right.

Of course 500k for 9 acres of land with 1 house on it is just bonkers.

Exactly! 9 acres should be used for many more houses, not only 1.

But you will never ever get planning for it in that area. The planning laws/regulations/NIMBYs would never allow that.

The owner of this plot probably used some loophole, like an existing old building, or a barn, or something of the sort.

Edit: 1/4 acre with planing in this area would probably go for £200k plus.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

Very interesting. This works out at 5.7 units per developed acre. This appears low considering the majority of housing is in our city streets at about 20 to the acre.

The UK builds around 150,000 new houses per year. That is less than 1% of the existing stock. Put another way, if there was no increased need the existing stock would need to survive over 100 years at this rate of replacement. New houses may, if properly maintained last that time but a large proportion of the housing stock is pre 1960 construction and will not last 100 years. A figure that is often quoted is a 80 year cycle. This is an average lifespan of the existing stock with some lasting well in excess and some, sadly falling into poor state well before that age. Taking the 80 year cycle, and a static, non changing population you would expect the new build/replacement stock to be in the region of 200,000 per year. If you add to that the arguments of increased population, smaller household size, increased separation rates of the family units, ageing population, you could easily argue for an addition to the static replacement numbers.

I have no doubt this discussion has probably taken place many times before in these forums. The price at which this new/replacement stock is introduced at is one discussion. However, the need for the existing new-build rate and even an increase on this is surely fairly well established.

The proper density for family housing is about 12 to the acre, IMHO. The planners, in attempt to conserve the greenbelt have been forcing this density figure up towards 20 to the acre. For inner city apartment style developments this is fine but in my view it creates too small a unit and certainly not units designed for family living. Increasing the accepted density per acre also increases the value/cost of that land. There are more relaxed constraints in other European countries which allow the construction of larger, less dense developments. You can blame the 'save the green-belt' groups and their influence on PPS 3 for the size of our recent housing stock.

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We were discussing the proposed Harlow North development in another thread.

Residential Area: 720ha

Dwellings: 25,000

Residents: 60,000

And I calculated that:

Ha! Funny you should mention Harlow...

I was looking on rightmove at some development in Harlow. It seems even 'detached' homes gardens have been replaced with 'courtyards' The garden is now where you park your car.

http://www.gallifordtryhomes.co.uk/linden-homes/developments/essex/be-newhall-harlow/development-layout

Only driven through Harlow, but it looked a bit like Stevenage. Ie 'orrible. I'll admit one of the places im looking at, Wellingborough, isnt particularly nice, but it is cheap, relatively. But to pay high prices to live in Harlow or stevenage, places devoid of any redeeming features, seems insane.

I dont deny that its possible to fit more homes and people in, of course it is. Its just not in my opinion desirable, id rather see immigration reversed and population shrink. Even Scotland seems too crowded for me.

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Ha! Funny you should mention Harlow...

I was looking on rightmove at some development in Harlow. It seems even 'detached' homes gardens have been replaced with 'courtyards' The garden is now where you park your car.

http://www.gallifordtryhomes.co.uk/linden-homes/developments/essex/be-newhall-harlow/development-layout

Only driven through Harlow, but it looked a bit like Stevenage. Ie 'orrible. I'll admit one of the places im looking at, Wellingborough, isnt particularly nice, but it is cheap, relatively. But to pay high prices to live in Harlow or stevenage, places devoid of any redeeming features, seems insane.

I am not familiar with Harlow. Someone else mentioned it, in another thread. Like you I would much prefer lower densities. And I know we have more than enough space for it. I gave an example above, with plots for terraces houses, 5m x 25m =125 sq.m. But plots could easily be larger than that, like 6 x 30m = 180 sq.m., and a very small portion of UK land would be needed for it. Probably less than 0.2% (two tenths of 1%). We could easily have some very nice garden suburbs, and parks, and the whole malarkey. We have plenty of space. Do the maths. You will be surprised.

I dont deny that its possible to fit more homes and people in, of course it is. Its just not in my opinion desirable,

"Not desirable"???

:o

You really surprised me there. Not desirable by whom?!?!

And why not?!?!

id rather see immigration reversed and population shrink. Even Scotland seems too crowded for me.

I see. Sorry, but a little more maths will be needed here too.

Firstly, the UK population has been virtually stable for some 40 years. It was around 56 million 40 years ago, IIRC, and it is now around 61 million. Just around 10% in 40 years.

Secondly, immigration is a red herring. There are some 6 to 7 million foreign-born people living in Britain. But there are some 5.5 to 6 million UK nationals living abroad. The NET result here is probably just over 1 million. In a population of 60 million, this is not much relevant. Migration is a red herring. Snap out of it. Please see this http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=153649&view=findpost&p=2765859

The main cause of the increase in UK housing need in the past decade has been smaller households (about 10% smaller, IIRC), meaning an increase in the number of dewillings needed of around 10% as well.

Planing blockage has been the main problem.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Very interesting. This works out at 5.7 units per developed acre. This appears low considering the majority of housing is in our city streets at about 20 to the acre.

The UK builds around 150,000 new houses per year. That is less than 1% of the existing stock. Put another way, if there was no increased need the existing stock would need to survive over 100 years at this rate of replacement. New houses may, if properly maintained last that time but a large proportion of the housing stock is pre 1960 construction and will not last 100 years. A figure that is often quoted is a 80 year cycle. This is an average lifespan of the existing stock with some lasting well in excess and some, sadly falling into poor state well before that age. Taking the 80 year cycle, and a static, non changing population you would expect the new build/replacement stock to be in the region of 200,000 per year. If you add to that the arguments of increased population, smaller household size, increased separation rates of the family units, ageing population, you could easily argue for an addition to the static replacement numbers.

I have no doubt this discussion has probably taken place many times before in these forums. The price at which this new/replacement stock is introduced at is one discussion. However, the need for the existing new-build rate and even an increase on this is surely fairly well established.

The proper density for family housing is about 12 to the acre, IMHO. The planners, in attempt to conserve the greenbelt have been forcing this density figure up towards 20 to the acre. For inner city apartment style developments this is fine but in my view it creates too small a unit and certainly not units designed for family living. Increasing the accepted density per acre also increases the value/cost of that land. There are more relaxed constraints in other European countries which allow the construction of larger, less dense developments. You can blame the 'save the green-belt' groups and their influence on PPS 3 for the size of our recent housing stock.

Excellent post. A must read.

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There are 16 million homes in 2.8 million acres, this is where the majority of the population live. Please read my signature at the bottom of the post to see a break down of who owns the rest of the land. Better still, read Who Own's Britain by Kevin Carhil.

Hmm I just took a look at this Duke of Buccleuch figure (in your sig), who I'd never heard of, and here's what I found!!!

Richard Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Walter John Montagu Douglas Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch and 12th Duke of Queensberry KBE, DL (born 14 February 1954) is the current Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, as well as Chief of Clan Scott.

<script type=text/javascript>//

[edit] Early life and education

Scott was born in 1954, the son of John Scott, Earl of Dalkeith and his wife, Jane (née McNeill) and was baptised with Princess Margaret as one of his godparents.

He later attended Eton, was Page of Honour to the Queen Mother from 1967 to 1969. In 1973 his father inherited the Dukedoms of Buccleuch and Queensberry, and Scott took the courtesy title of Earl of Dalkeith. He later graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts.

[edit] Marriage and family

In 1981 he married Lady Elizabeth Marian Frances Kerr, a daughter of the 12th Marquess of Lothian (and a sister of Michael Ancram), and they later had four children:

Lady Louisa Jane Therese Montagu Douglas Scott (b. 1 October 1982)

Walter John Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, Earl of Dalkeith (b. 2 August 1984)

Lord Charles David Peter Montagu Douglas Scott (b. 20 April 1987)

Lady Amabel Clare Alice Montagu Douglas Scott (b. 23 June 1992)

[edit] Career

Lord Dalkeith had a brief spell on the board of Border Television from 1989 to 1990, and in 1994 he joined the Millennium Commission as the representative for Northern England. Appointed a KBE in 2000 for his services to the Millennium Celebrations ( was it that difficult to help in the millenium celebrations that he had to be Knighted?!?!?!?!) , Dalkeith left the commission in 2003. He is President of the National Trust for Scotland and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dalkeith also served as Deputy Chairman of the (since abolished) Independent Television Commission, as a member of Scottish Heritage, on the board of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and was President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society from 1999 to 2005.

The Duke currently lives in Drumlanrig Castle.

On 4 September 2007 he inherited the titles Duke of Buccleuch and Duke of Queensberry upon his father's death.

The art collection of the Dukes of Buccleuch is of great significance; thus the recovery of the stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting Madonna of the Yarnwinder from the collection, valued at 30 million GBP, in a raid on the offices of a prestigious law firm captured public attention in 2007.[1] A discovery in June 2008 of a painting in the family collection at Boughton House, a rare portrait of the young Elizabeth I Queen of England, was welcomed by art historians.

Houses owned by the Duke include Boughton House, Drumlanrig Castle, Dalkeith Palace, and Bowhill House.

And this guy also owns 277,000 acres???! What a joke. :angry:

Edited by SHERWICK

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And this guy also owns 277,000 acres???! What a joke. :angry:

Given the housing 'crisis' (ahem) and chronic land shortage, perhaps we could ask him to donate just 10% of his land, that would house 1.3m people (based on 2.4 per house, and 20 houses per acre). Anyone know his email address :P

Seriously though, I wonder about a campaign for compulsory land purchase from the landed gentry, say 50,000 acres at £20,000 per acre = £1b, and then £60-70k a pop for the build, 50k acres * 20 plots per acre = 1m plots x £65k = £65b. Shave a bit of due to economies of scale, and voila you've just sorted your social housing 'shortage'.. Fire up the printing press Merv, we have a destination for QE2 money,

And this would pay dividends immediately, huge economic boost, and would be paid back within a generation of the rents from the social tenants.

Might cause a bit of house price crash though. And forcing the banks to mark to market their debt at the new £75k for a 3-4 bed with good m2, might cause a bit of a crisis.

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Given the housing 'crisis' (ahem) and chronic land shortage, perhaps we could ask him to donate just 10% of his land, that would house 1.3m people (based on 2.4 per house, and 20 houses per acre). Anyone know his email address :P

Seriously though, I wonder about a campaign for compulsory land purchase from the landed gentry, say 50,000 acres at £20,000 per acre = £1b, and then £60-70k a pop for the build, 50k acres * 20 plots per acre = 1m plots x £65k = £65b. Shave a bit of due to economies of scale, and voila you've just sorted your social housing 'shortage'.. Fire up the printing press Merv, we have a destination for QE2 money,

And this would pay dividends immediately, huge economic boost, and would be paid back within a generation of the rents from the social tenants.

Might cause a bit of house price crash though. And forcing the banks to mark to market their debt at the new £75k for a 3-4 bed with good m2, might cause a bit of a crisis.

Just on a fine tuning, 20 houses per acre is a bit too dense. That proposed development I mentioned above, Harlow North, is already a bit dense, and will be 35/ha, or 14/acre. Sensible terraced houses would be similar.

But I agree that we need to make land use in Britain more rational and fair. And that this is a political issue. I think the first step would be to get these number (re. how little land housing actually uses) into some article in the main media. Most people imagine that if you build a million homes it would cover some 10% of England! Even I, before doing the maths properly, imagined it would be around 1% or 2% of Britain, and not just 0.2% of England! We must spread this data. It does change people's perceptions of it, deeply, with many positive consequences.

Edit: From other threads, I think the real unsaid fear of many NIMBYs are council estates and immigrants. If we remove the "concreting over the countryside" red herring then they will have to come clean. And the solutions can be found. Like: Nice suburbs instead of council estates; And it is not via housing shortage that a country can implement immigration policy. For instance. But at least the debate would evolve.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Just on a fine tuning, 20 houses per acre is a bit too dense. That proposed development I mentioned above, Harlow North, is already a bit dense, and will be 35/ha, or 14/acre. Sensible terraced houses would be similar.

But I agree that we need to make land use in Britain more rational and fair. And that this is a political issue. I think the first step would be to get these number (re. how little land housing actually uses) into some article in the main media. Most people imagine that if you build a million homes it would cover some 10% of England! Even I, before doing the maths properly, imagined it would be around 1% or 2% of Britain, and not just 0.2% of England! We must spread this data. It does change people's perceptions of it, deeply, with many positive consequences.

Edit: From other threads, I think the real unsaid fear of many NIMBYs are council estates and immigrants. If we remove the "concreting over the countryside" red herring then they will have to come clean. And the solutions can be found. Like: Nice suburbs instead of council estates; And it is not via housing shortage that a country can implement immigration policy. For instance. But at least the debate would evolve.

.

Want to run a few calcs with this, but first a few questions.

1) Would it be fair to say that 150m2 of floor space is adequate for a nice 3-4 bed, that being 75m2 across 2 floor (trying to visualise 7.5m x 10m, seems like a reasonable foot print)?

2) What % of the land should the house occupy, 1/2 for back garden, 1/6 for front garden/access, need space around the sides for access and light (1/9), so 22.5% (see diagram), 33%, 50%?

3) How much space should be reserved for roads, children play areas, community and sports centres, off the cuff 10% would seem to be reasonable.

4) Shopping areas, transport hubs etc, perhaps we could ignore these from the figures on the basis that the businesses would buy in to the area. (It actually strikes me that if you grabbed a few thousand acres, you could significantly reduce the nett cost by selling some to businesses with planning consent). If we were to include the figures for this, what would it be, 2-3%?

edit: Was trying to upload a little diagram showing house footprint on the land, using 1/2 x 2/3 x 2/3, but I don't seem to be able to.

Edited by Guest

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Want to run a few calcs with this, but first a few questions.

1) Would it be fair to say that 150m2 of floor space is adequate for a nice 3-4 bed, that being 75m2 across 2 floor (trying to visualise 7.5m x 10m, seems like a reasonable foot print)?

2) What % of the land should the house occupy, 1/2 for back garden, 1/6 for front garden/access, need space around the sides for access and light (1/9), so 22.5% (see diagram), 33%, 50%?

3) How much space should be reserved for roads, children play areas, community and sports centres, off the cuff 10% would seem to be reasonable.

4) Shopping areas, transport hubs etc, perhaps we could ignore these from the figures on the basis that the businesses would buy in to the area. (It actually strikes me that if you grabbed a few thousand acres, you could significantly reduce the nett cost by selling some to businesses with planning consent). If we were to include the figures for this, what would it be, 2-3%?

edit: Was trying to upload a little diagram showing house footprint on the land, using 1/2 x 2/3 x 2/3, but I don't seem to be able to.

Sorry I have to go out in 1 minute. I'll write more latter. But just to clarify an important point, I was not thinking about whole new towns, but just a small increase in quality/size of houses around existing communities - that already have all those facilities, like shops, schools etc. And only in areas of the country with housing shortage - expensive housing. Better and more spacious housing does not mean a bigger population for the country as a whole. Some internal migration always exist, of course. I'll add more in an edit, later. Sorry, I have to go now.

Edit: OK, I'm back. Firstly, I am not an architect, so I can't be too precise about this. But I did read some RIBA materials about densities ( www.architecture.com ), and I have our normal living experience and wishes about our homes. The main aim of those calculations above was just to have a better understanding of the order of magnitude we are talking about when talking housing and the size of the country - that silly argument that we don't have space for more housing, :rolleyes: that we are a "small crowded island" malarkey. Total rubbish.

1) Yes, I think 150m2 should be enough for a 3-4 bed house. I was imagining a 5x25m plot, with a footprint for the house of 5x10m, but on 3 floors. The house could be 5m from the pavement, allowing for parking for 2 cars off-road. And a 10m long garden. Modest, but decent. Better than flats.

2) Again, that calculation above was just for averages. I didn't meant we should build 1 million identical homes.

3 & 4) I explained that above, before the edit. I was just thinking about housing, around existing communities.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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