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New Towns

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Would anybody like to see any new towns built? If so, then where in Britain would you like to see them built?

I certainly wouldn't. I'm from a new town (Redditch) and it's a dump. The whole eastern side of the town given over to lego land housing estates clustered around unprepossessing local shopping centres. The town centre is enclosed by a concrete ring of dual carriageways and "red shed" style retail parks. Needless to say it allso has its own shopping precint which is worth going to if you want to buy a mobile phone or a birthday card but isn't much good for anything else. There's an excellent public library but other than that there's not much to recommend the place. I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

I rather got the impression that what they're doing to places like Ashford is constructing new towns but calling them something different - "Sustainable Communities" I think.

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yeah start building BTL properties on the moon - buy off plan now! Projected yeilds of 50% by year 2250

Seriously - we would have to really eat into greenbelt land for the space required? Or use up farmland. I think the UK's farmland is one this countries greatest assets. We cannot going on importing food fovever as costs of transporting go up.

Edited by notanewmember

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Seriously - we would have to really eat into greenbelt land for the space required? Or use up farmland. I think the UK's farmland is one this countries greatest assets. We cannot going on importing food fovever as costs of transporting go up.

seriously - try walking on said greenbelt and see how long before you get arrested.

this country has more than enough space for its people.

its just that, if we opened up building land we would lose our control over the workers.

keep em jumping i say. if they get close - raise the bar......

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I'm quite surprised at the lack of interest of building new towns. I was expecting to see more enthusiasm. Perhaps the mistakes from the new towns of 1950s and 60s have scarred too many people's minds to the point where they are no longer seen as a good idea.

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I'm quite surprised at the lack of interest of building new towns. I was expecting to see more enthusiasm.

Towns planned by committee are usually a disaster: a soulless mess that no-one really wants to live in. It's much better to just let people live where they want, and for towns to grow up naturally based on what the people there choose to do.

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I've lived in one new town (Bracknell) and I'm now living near another (Telford) and I can't say I'm all that enamoured with them tbh. New towns are ugly, badly planned,sterile and have no sense of community imo.

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I certainly wouldn't. I'm from a new town (Redditch) and it's a dump. The whole eastern side of the town given over to lego land housing estates clustered around unprepossessing local shopping centres. The town centre is enclosed by a concrete ring of dual carriageways and "red shed" style retail parks.

Yeah, I went through there the other day, nice roads and lots of trees, but I didn't see the 70's (?) boxes but I think I know what you mean... I should have looked a little deeper.

However, in general it's better to establish a New Town with a new centre than simply allow an older town to sprawl. We have plenty of land in this country, a few well designed new towns wouldn't be a problem.

Seriously - we would have to really eat into greenbelt land for the space required?

Greenbelt is growing not shrinking, don't be fooled into thinking it's diappearing and 'under threat', a record 13% of the UK is now classified as greenbelt, only 8% is set aside for housing 90% of the people.

There is plenty of land in the UK. Prince Charlie's estate only yields a paltry £1 per hectare when you add up his holdings, divided by his earnings.

If there was a real shortage of land you wouldn't be able to buy up chunks of the countryside for less than £10k per hectare (2.5 acres), which equates to £250 per house with modern density targets of over 40 houses per hectare. However, the planning laws are a world of their own.

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Is it the concept of a new town that is the problem or is it the residents that are the problem?

When it comes to infrastructure, the era of concrete block buildings and radical but impractical architecture is over, so buildings in a new town will almost certainly be built with more style and character than those of 1950s and 60s new towns. My biggest worry will be cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac of similar sized detached houses rather than neighbourhoods of housing in a mixture of sizes and types. This is because builders and town planners nowadays systematically think society prefers detached houses on estates in a similar way to town planners of the 1960s thinking society wanted high rise tower blocks.

As for the people, many of the 1950s and 60s new towns were overspill towns so filled up mainly with those from the lower strata of society from the big cities. This is why new towns today are filled with so many yobs and thugs. They didn't have many middle class or professional people to start with. To make matters worse, the employment in most new towns was - and still is - aimed at low skilled workers rather than those with professional qualifications. This has acted as a barrier against an inward migration of middle class people and graduates.

If another wave of new towns is built then they will have to be attractive to middle class families and professionals if they are to be success stories. Considering the high proportion of IT types on this forum then why not have a new town with its economy based around software engineering jobs? Britain's equivalent of Bangalore.

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If elected, I will erect a set of stilts over London, and build a new town "New London" on top of that. This way, we can solve our severe shortage of land AND severe shortage of property problems without destroying the beautiful northern parts of our fine island nation.

B)

Edited by megaflop

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Towns planned by committee are usually a disaster: a soulless mess that no-one really wants to live in. It's much better to just let people live where they want, and for towns to grow up naturally based on what the people there choose to do.

Except our entire planning system is controlled by committee regardless of where you are, ironically the development corporation's in the new towns actually had greater flexibility than anyone else as they could grant themselves planning permission.

The right to develop land was nationalised in 1947, and remained so ever since.

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Is it the concept of a new town that is the problem or is it the residents that are the problem?

It's the idea that a government committee is better suited to decide where people live than the people themselves.

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Is it the concept of a new town that is the problem or is it the residents that are the problem?

When it comes to infrastructure, the era of concrete block buildings and radical but impractical architecture is over, so buildings in a new town will almost certainly be built with more style and character than those of 1950s and 60s new towns. My biggest worry will be cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac of similar sized detached houses rather than neighbourhoods of housing in a mixture of sizes and types. This is because builders and town planners nowadays systematically think society prefers detached houses on estates in a similar way to town planners of the 1960s thinking society wanted high rise tower blocks.

As for the people, many of the 1950s and 60s new towns were overspill towns so filled up mainly with those from the lower strata of society from the big cities. This is why new towns today are filled with so many yobs and thugs. They didn't have many middle class or professional people to start with. To make matters worse, the employment in most new towns was - and still is - aimed at low skilled workers rather than those with professional qualifications. This has acted as a barrier against an inward migration of middle class people and graduates.

If another wave of new towns is built then they will have to be attractive to middle class families and professionals if they are to be success stories. Considering the high proportion of IT types on this forum then why not have a new town with its economy based around software engineering jobs? Britain's equivalent of Bangalore.

Just an idea, there are lots of towns and villages around the country which 'work', what I mean by this is that the town design, the socio-economic make up and the public space / transport links etc combine to make it a successful and happy place to live. I count myself lucky to live in such a place right now. Is it not beyond the bounds of possibility to copy the best bits of these towns and build new ones using this 'blueprint', down to the mix of people (allocated by types of housing) living there?

I guess it could be too much social engineering, but aren't new towns are just that, but they seem to turn into dual carriageway separated, soul-less housing estates, totally reliant on the motorcar.

Oh yes and a maximum of, say 10% of chain stores allowed in the shopping centre. All others to be locally run shops.

JD :blink:

Edited by john_d_uk

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It's the idea that a government committee is better suited to decide where people live than the people themselves.

But a local government committee packed full of nimbies governed by central edicts on density and social engineering is eminently suited?

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I don't see why you keep attacking my posts when I've said on numerous occasions here that the whole 'planning permission' system should be scrapped.

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I don't see why you keep attacking my posts when I've said on numerous occasions here that the whole 'planning permission' system should be scrapped.

I wasn't attacking you Mark but merely pointing out that our current system of supposed freedom and choice is largely illusory. If it were true why doesn't the HPC massive buy a 100 acre chunk of ideal countryside and build there, I'd like to see how far we'd get.

People are too obssesed with overpriced postage stamps to realise it's all about the land!

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Yeah, I went through there the other day, nice roads and lots of trees, but I didn't see the 70's (?) boxes but I think I know what you mean... I should have looked a little deeper.

They're hidden from the road by the trees as well as earth banks and concrete barriers. The road system isn't bad although I gather it can be confusing to non-locals.

Some excellent points have been made here about why new towns aren't very nice places to live. Sterile and souless about sums it up.

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I guess it could be too much social engineering, but aren't new towns are just that, but they seem to turn into dual carriageway separated, soul-less housing estates, totally reliant on the motorcar.

Oh yes and a maximum of, say 10% of chain stores allowed in the shopping centre. All others to be locally run shops.

This is because the residents were never consulted on what they did and didn't want in their new town. The government committees, town planners, and architects had things their way and chances are they would never live in the towns they created. One of the worst examples of planning is Cumbernauld. It has been described as a rabbit warren on stilts but you must see it to appreciate it.

I am a supporter of direct democracy where the general public have a say in things and can bring up referenda on almost any issue. The system of representative democracy where the general public has a vote every 4 years then has to entrust whoever is elected is a concept way past its sell by date.

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They're hidden from the road by the trees as well as earth banks and concrete barriers. The road system isn't bad although I gather it can be confusing to non-locals.

I ended up in Bromsgrove, I'm not sure if that's an improvement, they should build a few traffic islands to help people out. :lol:

Some excellent points have been made here about why new towns aren't very nice places to live. Sterile and souless about sums it up.

We've gone from grand scale central planning to micro planning, I don't see how the souless high density inner-city developments are an improvement, at least some of the New Towns have a semblance to the original Garden City movement. I think Ebenezer Howard would be more impressed by the latter despite the sterility, especially compared to the mercenary and packed nature of modern developments that are high density and brownfield, they hark back to the slums houses and will not last 30 years, the buildings will not last.

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There was once a law / policy thingy, that a certain amount of

Fields had to be assessable for the general public that lived in

Concrete jungles. (i.e. high rise flats in city areas)

I grew up in North London and had plenty of fields to play

Football and run around in with my friends.

Neighbours would tell us to sod-off and play on those fields.

If we kicked a football in the streets, although you could then

there weren’t many cars on the road in those days.

Now children have nowhere to play other than outside someone’s

Property. A field near where I live is locked-up with cctv guarding it!

London is now concreted completely. All the fields I played in have

Been developed into new housing. :(

Is this the cost of the Green belt?

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Now this is funny, a sort of an MK with guns :-

A city re-modelled - Planners behind Milton Keynes to redesign Iraq's holy city Najaf

From the people who brought you Milton Keynes...

The planning agency which designed Milton Keynes has been handed the job of reshaping a city which is no stranger to adversity: Najaf, in Iraq.

At first glance the stacks of labelled box files which line one wall of Martin Crookston's London office are a trot through some familiar locations in provincial England.

Smethwick, Birmingham, the Black Country and Telford, Newcastle, Najaf.

That's Najaf as in the Iraqi holy city. Najaf, the scene of two suicide bombs a couple of years ago which killed dozens of people and injured many more. Najaf, the arena for a full-scale American military assault to oust a radical Muslim cleric, back in 2004.

Edited by BuyingBear

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Another thing about new towns is that they're usually very difficult to travel around by foot. The shopping centres are usually ideal as they're traffic free, but for pedestrians the rest is a bit of a mare.

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  • 302 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% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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