Sarah Beeny-Interesting Observation on Solving the Housing Crisis
I read an interesting article by Sarah Beeny, Host of Property Ladder and founder of Tepilo.com, which indicates that putting existing homes to better use would be a good way to alleviate the housing crisis. This is the article http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/
In some ways I agree with what Sarah is saying in that we have many homes which could readily be adapted to so called Granny accommodation. Her idea of a tax break for people who build an extension to accommodate older relatives is certainly worth considering. However, in my opinion any measure such as this is only touching the edge of the problem. We need hundreds of thousands of new houses to be built regardless of any other initiatives, its as simple as that. We need them in Cities, Towns & Villages in almost every area of the UK.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT NEW HOMES ARE BUILT IN EVERY SECTOR
By this I mean affordable homes for rent, not just homes to buy. It is at this level of the housing crisis where we see problems occurring. It isn’t just about housing those that can afford to buy, it is also about housing those that can’t, and we need an immediate 150,000 houses in this sector immediately, and right across the UK.
I can never understand why the focus for new home construction isn’t on market Towns and Villages that are served by rail rather than just building wherever there is less NIMBY objection. What is the point of building a major new estate in a Town without a rail connection and where many of the people who buy the houses or flats will work in a nearby City, resulting in major road congestion during rush hour which merely causes stress and a huge waste of fuel and time.
If we truly want to create sustainable communities then we need to focus on doing that very thing. Rather than just building houses we should be building communities where people can get to know their neighbours rather than the often sterile housing estates that have been created since the 1960s.
Sarah’s view that the quality of life is better outside of Cities, is of course personal and doesn’t apply to everyone. Many people, old and young prefer Cities and would never want to live in the Country, or in a small Town or Village. We must supply homes across all sectors and take everyone’s view into account.
I agree that the planning system needs a further shake up, especially with a speeding up of the application process, but unfortunately while we have many local authorities employing fewer officers, many who work shorter weeks than they used to,any speeding up process will struggle to be successful.
In my opinion most National House Builders, and certainly smaller developers, would accept higher planning application fee’s if they could be assured of more and better qualified officers who could offer a positive, speedy, consistent and well thought reaction to their proposal rather than the often dragged out affair that exists now.
Build communities, not just somewhere to shelter from the rain and wind, then we will begin to solve some of the many social issues facing society, not just the housing crisis.