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Let's build cramped housing : Barwell Watch

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    Private housing developers should build homes with smaller rooms that do not meet existing minimum space standards so that young people can afford to buy them, the housing minister has said.

    Gavin Barwell told the Conservative conference in Birmingham that he wanted the private sector to “innovate” to solve the housing crisis and that relaxing the rules on how cramped a flat can be might stop young people from being priced out.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7344061.html
    Do you favour redefining cramped (from some ofthe lowest existing standards in europe) in order to produce more affordable homes - or do you think there is a better solution?
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Do you favour redefining cramped (from some ofthe lowest existing standards in europe) in order to produce more affordable homes - or do you think there is a better solution?
    People should just sleep in office buildings. Or we should just build some cheap tower blocks.



    Low land usage, high hold of people. No need to build modern high rises let's just go back to basic block tower blocks.
    If they look bad we could investigate the use of paints or other colouring methods.
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    Living standards are dropping world wide thanks to leftism. Accepting smaller living areas is a part of it. Deal with it.
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    As someone who works in housing (and hates the tories), I must say that Gavin's barwell has been far more cooperative and positive towards housing associations than his predecessor.

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    Small housing is not nessasarily a problem.*

    Badly designed small housing - is a problem.*

    If you look at some of the great small/micro/tiny space designs that come out of other countries, architects and designers who are really pushing how much use you can get out of a small amount of space.

    The problem with small houses in England is they tend to be awfully designed. They follow the idea of a standard house, but just shrink everything. So you still end up with the same layout/plans, the same necessary number of rooms, but each feels small and cramped.

    Design them properly, and then sure there could be a lot of merit to a small house movement, where people can use smaller then normal properties as an entry point to home ownership.*
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    I don't believe housing regulations are particularly positive. Equally I think it is precisely the regulatory environment we live in that incentivises builders to create those indecently small and rubbish homes that they've been putting up for the last few decades.

    If there's any suggestion that young people are being priced out because of house sizes, we should look to what young professionals are living in routinely in London. Homes that realistically couldn't get any smaller. Does that stop them having to pay ludicrous amounts in rents or mortgages? No.

    I think I see broadly what the Minister is getting at: that it's better to have a smaller, more affordable home than being crowded out of the market altogether, and that it would have a positive effect on pushing down house prices overall. But if he's going to target regulation to increase housing supply, this is realistically the last thing I'd opt for. Maybe he should be honest about the effects of the ridiculous regulation of our so-called greenbelt land that is strangling housing supply in this country, or look at how the planning system not only incentivises speculation on property but makes it pretty difficult to build.
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    The elephant in the room is that the supply of houses is artificially constrained by a restrictive planning system. A reversal of this is unlikely to be much of a vote winner given that those who benefit from higher property prices are more likely to vote than those who do not.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    The elephant in the room is that the supply of houses is artificially constrained by a restrictive planning system. A reversal of this is unlikely to be much of a vote winner given that those who benefit from higher property prices are more likely to vote than those who do not.
    The current planning system has a presumption in favour of "sustainable" development (quite a subjective term) built in to it, and planning permission refusals often get overturned on appeal if the local authority's local development plan isn't quite up to date (while those who oppose the development rarely have the right to appeal it at all). It's not as restrictive as people like to make out, especially not since 2012.

    Relaxing the planning system to the extent that valuable habitats get destroyed, totally unsuitable developments get approved, and yet more power is given to developers is not the answer.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7344061.html
    Do you favour redefining cramped (from some ofthe lowest existing standards in europe) in order to produce more affordable homes - or do you think there is a better solution?
    The whole thing is a joke.

    The land cost is meaningless as the government can compulsory purchase it for development.

    The solution isn't more flats or small houses it's build a huge amount of houses both social and private of a good size.

    New houses already are 50% smaller on average over the 1930's houses


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    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    People should just sleep in office buildings. Or we should just build some cheap tower blocks.



    Low land usage, high hold of people. No need to build modern high rises let's just go back to basic block tower blocks.
    If they look bad we could investigate the use of paints or other colouring methods.
    I can't quite work out whether this is facetious or you genuinely believe this to be a solution? You can paint a dog turd: it's still a dog turd. Would you want to live in a dump like this? Is this what we're all aiming for?
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I can't quite work out whether this is facetious or you genuinely believe this to be a solution? You can paint a dog turd: it's still a dog turd. Would you want to live in a dump like this? Is this what we're all aiming for?
    Well it does not have to be a dump. Just a lick of paint and a bit of TLC. Looks and acts like housing.
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    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    Well it does not have to be a dump. Just a lick of paint and a bit of TLC. Looks and acts like housing.
    So do prefabs, but we don't build those any longer. Most people don't want to live in such high rise housing - it fell out of favour for a reason! Surely we need to build houses that are big enough for people to live in comfortably, not tiny little shoeboxes crammed into some brownfield development. I understand that there need to be a range of housing solutions for various groups, but some of the houses built now are literally not big enough to swing the proverbial cat in.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    But most people don't want to live in such high rise housing - it fell out of favour for a reason!
    What reason? I would not mind it. It's just like having a cramped house on a housing estate with no garden but the views are better.

    But if you want cheap effective housing in a nation like the UK this is the way forward.
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    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    What reason? I would not mind it. It's just like having a cramped house on a housing estate with no garden but the views are better.

    But if you want cheap effective housing in a nation like the UK this is the way forward.
    I understand your reasoning - if you have a limited land, build up. I think you are right, but I'm not convinced that it's what people actually want, not in the main anyway.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I understand your reasoning - if you have a limited land, build up. I think you are right, but I'm not convinced that it's what people actually want, not in the main anyway.
    But with prices like they are and high demand with few land sites given permission for housing there has to be a compromise somewhere and towers are probably the answer with the issues faced today.
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    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    But with prices like they are and high demand with few land sites given permission for housing there has to be a compromise somewhere and towers are probably the answer with the issues faced today.
    And on what planet do you think the price of a house has any semblance of its real cost to build?


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    This is one area I'm convinced that we over-regulate. House prices being high is not a good thing, largely because nobody really views their homes as liquid capital (so would be largely unaffected by a drop in house prices insofar as negative equity can be avoided - which should be moreso the case given the better regulation of the mortgage sector - which actually should be regulated). The reforms we ought to make include stripping back planning law severely (the current system is designed as though ugliness is worse than homelessness), reforming greenbelts (not only is a significant amount of current greenbelt land actually really ugly, the country doesn't need so much countryside), and, most importantly, imposing a huge tax on unoccupied residential property (which may send rents close to zero in some areas, or even negative).

    Longer-term, local and central government both need the impetus to build, and retain, state-owned housing (and be permitted to rent it out at something close to market rate); development focus needs to be moved away from London; and everything possible must be done to make rental, rather than home ownership, the norm.
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    (Original post by paul514)
    And on what planet do you think the price of a house has any semblance of its real cost to build?


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    Houses are expensive to build. Developers want money to pay back profit for all the land they have bought and costs of constructing a house.

    When it comes to a tower it's cheaper as it's just 1 block with a square design and 1 roof.
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    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    Houses are expensive to build. Developers want money to pay back profit for all the land they have bought and costs of constructing a house.

    When it comes to a tower it's cheaper as it's just 1 block with a square design and 1 roof.
    land costs account for 40% of building costs outside of London and 70% inside London.

    Housing costs are completely artificial because of three points

    1. The government sets demand for housing through their policies of immigration numbers, incentives to parents for having children and policies around business as to where they are set up in the country.

    2. The government sets the supply of housing through planning permission, taxation, social housing and through education by way of teaching skills such as brick laying.

    3. The government has powers to purchase any land it likes.

    There is no reason why a 3000 square foot home in the USA costs half what it costs for a 900 square foot home in the U.K. Costs


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