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Housing and Urban Regeneration Blogs
There are very few national crises where there is a political incentive for them to be both solved and sustained – but housing, unfortunately is one. The reasons for wishing to solve the housing crisis are obvious: lack of housing supply and chronic unaffordability in London and the south east, oversupply and depressed construction activity in the North, a generation of young people locked out of the housing market, spiralling rents and mortgages claiming a disproportionate portion of household incomes and contracting consumer spending and all the damaging social and electoral consequences therein.
Housing has rarely enjoyed as high a political profile as it does today. A combination of the housing crisis, the abandoned planning bill, the government’s flagship levelling-up programme and it being led by one of the highest profile Cabinet Ministers Michael Gove as well as a slew of recent Tory electoral punishments in which housing was thought to have played a central role have all ensured that housing is now a major part of the government’s legislative infrastructure. So it assumed a pivotal role in this week’s Queen’s Speech, ironically delivered for the first time by a Prince of Wales who himself has had a profound impact on the UK’s architecture and urban development landscape over the past forty years.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession. What defined the architecture of Elizabeth II’s reign and what chance does it have of becoming a revered historic style of the future?
Since the Norman Conquest and with the singular exception of the Middle Ages, the stylistic classification of British architecture has always been inexorably linked to our monarchs or their dynasties: Norman, Tudor, Elizabethan, Jacobean, Stuart, Georgian, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian.
Related Content The Government’s long-awaited Levelling-Up White Paper was finally published a week ago today, and if any one word within the built environment sphere summarises it, it is one we are likely to be hearing much more of for the remaining life of this...
Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.
The Conservative Party have lost the Chesham and Amersham by-election: their majority of 16,223 at the 2019 election turned into a Lib Dem majority of 8,028. A cursory glance over the Liberal Democrats’ election literature suggests that they won by highlighting that various Conservatives oppose the Government’s planning reforms. While this might be true, it would be wrong to pronounce planning reform out for the count – the Planning Bill isn’t even published yet. Although early communications around reform may have been over-exuberant, what emerges at the end is likely to involve giving control over development to communities in ways that Amersham and Chesham voters would be much less concerned about.
New public polling commissioned by Public Exchange has found a preference for traditional hospital design that favours natural light and private rooms. This work in hospital design is part of a bigger project looking at the future of the hospital in Britain in the post COVID era, which will evaluate how new hospital building can better meet the needs of the NHS in the 21st century.
The Government means to reform planning in order to allow more houses to be built. The Local Government Association tells us the Government is wrong.
Changes to the planning system are unnecessary, they argue, for it is developers who hold back housing delivery, not planners.
Related Content Photo Credit: Images Money The Conservative and Labour manifestos make significant pledges on housing policy. The focus of the Conservatives is supporting people into home-ownership, while the centrepiece of Labour’s manifesto is the pledge that local...
Related Content The Conservative and Labour manifestos make significant pledges on housing policy. The focus of the Conservatives is supporting people into home-ownership, while the centrepiece of Labour’s manifesto is the pledge that local authorities build many more...