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tyres

Mapped: Is There Any Room Left For Homes In England?

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That's a ****** map as it's only relative to itself. When something is defined as built up or dark red, it's not clear in numerical terms what they mean.

What the NIMBY telegraph is trying to do is lie with maps. Ooh look at all that red better not build any houses then

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Domestic Buildings Cover Only 1.1 Percent Of Land In England

Domestic buildings cover only 1.1 percent of land in England.

I came across this official figure a while ago and thought it would change the debate on building homes. I expected this fact to be widely broadcasted and once and for all debunk the myth that the country is “concreted over”, as well as reduce opposition to house building. However, as this didn’t happen, I feel it’s important to put this fact out there and ask for help to spread it.

These are the actual numbers for England, they would be even lower for Britain.

(I'm sorry I don't know how to copy a table from a PDF to this post.)

Land use in England: rural and urban combined (Total):

Buildings and Roads:

Domestic buildings % = 1.1

Non-domestic buildings % = 0.65

Roads % = 2.22

Paths % = 0.1

Rail % = 0.13

Total "concreted over" = 4.2 percent

Green spaces:

Domestic gardens % = 4.26

Greenspace % = 87.46

Water % = 2.59

Other land % = 1.39

Total green spaces = 95.7 percent

This information is official, but unfortunately it's buried inside the Technical Report of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment 2011, the most comprehensive land survey ever done in Britain. Their press releases never mentioned this. Instead they went for some unclear classification of "urban" area, which is not what we understand as actually "urban", i.e. built-up. The press releases kept saying that "More than 6.8% of the UK’s land area is now classified as ‘urban’, with more than 10% of England", but in the technical report we see that almost 70% of these so called "urban" areas are actually GREEN spaces, and that less than a 20 percent of it is actually built up (covered by buildings, roads and streets), and even in London it's less than 30 percent. A footnote in the report even admits that even "Farmland is included in Urban greenspace classification".

Important to note that these figures are just for England. For Britain as a whole this number must be even lower, probably around 0.7 percent, since Britain's population density is 37% lower than England's (662/sq mi as opposed to 1054 according to Wikipedia).

These are the links to the report:

UKNEA front page: http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/

But to find this information you have to go here: http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/Resources/tabid/82/Default.aspx

scroll down to Technical Report, and download Chapter 10 Urban (FINAL PDF 4.9 MB)

The information on residential buildings is on page 368 table 10.3 Generalised Land Use Database (GLUD) for England: proportion of urban land by region. The bottom line of that table has the info I've copied above.

Please help spread this information. The most important information of all has not received its deserved attention in the national media. If all the homes in England, around 20 million homes, cover only 1.1 percent of its land, then of course we have plenty of space to build more homes for the young generation. Two million more homes would use only 0.1 percent of England's land! The NIMBYs and the so called "greens" would lose their main argument! Even if we also allowed 2 million gardens they would need less than 0.4 percent of England's land.

Please help, perhaps by contacting some journalists with access to the national media and pointing to this report and the breakdown of facts and figures, then perhaps they can spread this information far and wide to counter the mistaken general view / gut feeling the public has that England is concreted over.

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How about returning to building tower blocks? Make them more robust and desirable than the council blocks built from the 1950s-70s - but as equally spacious (if not more). :)

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Total culture shock for some moving from one extreme to the other....both have their own different advantages and disadvantages.....some couldn't live in the other, others could live in either. ;)

Edited by winkie

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That's a ****** map as it's only relative to itself. When something is defined as built up or dark red, it's not clear in numerical terms what they mean.

What the NIMBY telegraph is trying to do is lie with maps. Ooh look at all that red better not build any houses then

Plenty of new property is being built now in high density red areas at this moment.....there is lots of money to be made out of it, apparently there is a high demand for people to live on top of each other, people love to be squashed onto transport, wait in long queues for services, traffic jams etc etc.

People are consumers, and where there are people with needs there is money to be made.....business loves lots of people because they can offer them all that they know they want and need, a ready and willing market on tap.

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The best solution would be to do what they do in Germany in big cities. People live in built up blocks with 4 or 5 floors and each floor has 2 very large by UK standards apartments. The outside blocks have balconies and look nice, they don't have to look like inner city tower blocks (this is the scare tactic nimbys use against building up). For example; http://www.aspectestates.co.uk/images/Immanuelkirchstr.%20foto%20VH.jpg. So 10 families get to live in a nicely maintained block with huge apartments and balconies and the buildings don't take up much room (they often have a small courtyard where rubbish bins and bicycles etc are kept).

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I don't need a map or a table of data to tell me there is too much gray stuff and not enough green stuff in England.

Is that because you're deeply partisan or perhaps some other unobjective reason?

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I don't need a map or a table of data to tell me there is too much gray stuff and not enough green stuff in England.

Is it anything to do with knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing?

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Very poor map that does a paticularly bad job of showing the varying density, areas are higlighted the same colour where there are vastly different concentrations of housing.

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This map is for one purpose it has been created to prove a point. An easier way is to look at the Google Sattelite map for England, look at how much green there is, look at how much green there is. Ok some of the green may be people who have painted their roofs green or they live underground but that is going be pretty insignificant.

One example, look at the area highlighted in Red for Plymouth, now look at that area on Google, massive amounts of green land. Colouring this area RED signifies there is no room, where for this area RED represents 5.4% built upon. Wow that is some propaganda. So in fact there is 94.6% more space or 17.5 times the amount of currently built upon land.

Its amazing how desperate and blatant the lies are getting.

Edited by Ulfar

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I don't need a map or a table of data to tell me there is too much gray stuff and not enough green stuff in England.

Do you live in a block of flats and walk to work to minimise your own contribution to the gray stuff?

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It won't matter a jot even if million houses are built if the prices don't drop substantially.

Its just an establishment distraction as where they get built from the real issue, which is price.

It naive to suggest that builders will drop their prices, after the CC they just stopped building, their unit price remained high.

Liebor and all the other sector of the political classes are in denial about the UKs excessive housing costs.

Housing benefit like tax credits are being used to cover up the disaster of high housing costs in the UK.

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Do you live in a block of flats and walk to work to minimise your own contribution to the gray stuff?

No he's worked all his life and didn't buy iPods

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One example, look at the area highlighted in Red for Plymouth, now look at that area on Google, massive amounts of green land. Colouring this area RED signifies there is no room, where for this area RED represents 5.4% built upon. Wow that is some propaganda. So in fact there is 94.6% more space or 17.5 times the amount of currently built upon land.

Its amazing how desperate and blatant the lies are getting.

OK...

207ltvd.png

54hwyq.png

The red area on the Telegraph map seems to coincide pretty closely with the grey area on Google maps (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Telegraph's map's been automatically generated from Google maps).

You can zoom in on Plymouth on Google maps here: http://goo.gl/maps/kOXLY. It certainly looks a lot more than 5.4% built on. Even doubling the number of buildings in the area would be pretty difficult without wholesale demolition of current buildings, or using up all the parkland.

Edited by Scunnered

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OK...

The red area on the Telegraph map seems to coincide pretty closely with the grey area on Google maps (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Telegraph's map's been automatically generated from Google maps).

Bigger city areas may be somewhat representative, but look at Swindon for example - totally misleading, big dark orange splodge covering central swindon and then areas all round and south of motorway which are pretty much all fields.

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OK...

207ltvd.png

54hwyq.png

The red area on the Telegraph map seems to coincide pretty closely with the grey area on Google maps (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Telegraph's map's been automatically generated from Google maps).

You can zoom in on Plymouth on Google maps here: http://goo.gl/maps/kOXLY. It certainly looks a lot more than 5.4% built on. Even doubling the number of buildings in the area would be pretty difficult without wholesale demolition of current buildings, or using up all the parkland.

You have just illustrated how easy it is to misrepresent the maps the area you have highlighted covers Plymouth boundaries. The area in red is a bit more expansive. Even in the area you have highlighted there are large swathes unbuilt upon. Even at the zoom level you have chosen you can see the area between Plymton and Plymstock, this is quite a large swathe of green. If you zoomed in a bit more you would see other large areas that could be built upon, around Crownhill, Ernesettle, etc.

What is also highlighted is even in that small area of land how much room there is to grow within the city boundaries but also around it.

Of the land inlcuded within the city boundary a large proportion is non-residential.

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Why on earth don't we build nice, spacious, apartment blocks like in the US or Germany?

Instead we get semi-detached shoeboxes in cul-de-sacs miles from the amenities, walled off with speed bumps. Or ridiculous 60s-style 'streets in the air' where half the space is taken up by long complex stairwells and strips of outside balconies, effectively the back dangerous alleyways of housing developments.

Go to Greenwich and look at the tiny terraces four or five paces wide squashed into their rows. And people pay through the nose to live there!

I think there is something wrong with British architects. Not every dwelling needs its own front door. And the Monument isn't actually all that tall.

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If you need 300k homes a year - and you've already got workers living in beds in sheds and everyone under 35 priced out - then frankly you have four options:

  • Build on your precious green belt land.
  • Replace lower density housing in cities with higher-density housing.
  • Begin a programme of population reduction (even stopping immigration completely still leaves you with the 'housing debt' built up over the last two decades).
  • Do nothing and condemn ever more people to live in cramped misery.

I wonder which solution Telegraph readers would prefer?

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The best solution would be to do what they do in Germany in big cities. People live in built up blocks with 4 or 5 floors and each floor has 2 very large by UK standards apartments. The outside blocks have balconies and look nice, they don't have to look like inner city tower blocks (this is the scare tactic nimbys use against building up). For example; http://www.aspectestates.co.uk/images/Immanuelkirchstr.%20foto%20VH.jpg. So 10 families get to live in a nicely maintained block with huge apartments and balconies and the buildings don't take up much room (they often have a small courtyard where rubbish bins and bicycles etc are kept).

Yes id love my kid to be raised on the 5th floor, be great that.

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I'd live in a spacious flat/apartment if it had decent parking, storage, and recreation areas.

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