Monday, 4 August 2008

Living on top of each other

If you had this uneasy feeling that new homes were gettng smaller, you weren't imagining it. The latest data from the appallingly misnamed ministry of communities and local government confirms it. Builders in England are now stacking up an average of 45 new dwellings per hectare, compared to around 25 a decade ago.

The data suggests that some kind of major policy shift happened around 2001. Suddenly builders started to cram more boxes onto whatever scraps of land the local authorities made available for home construction.

The data for London is shocking. Builders put around on average 100 dwellings on each available hectare.



Josh said...


nuff said

James said...

Thanks for a fantastic blog, it's great to see intelligent non-mainstream analysis backed up with data.

While there may be a correlation between high density neighbourhoods and smaller dwellings, there is no causal link. Assuming this correlation is not at all ludicrous but it is wrong to say this confirms that homes are getting smaller.

Also, the tone of this article assumes that high housing density is in itself a bad thing. While tower blocks can be awful, high-denisty homes can often mean more walkability and better neighbourhoods. I'd much rather see higher density housing being built and our green land retained than more awful, sprawling suburbs where everyone has to drive everywhere.

As I said, blood great blog.

john miller said...

Prescott dunnit.

Every council has to have a plan and in the plan they have to set a target density per acre, which has to be in line with government guidelines. The idea was that in the south -east, projects that would have been turned down because of overcrowding were positively encouraged.

CityUnslicker said...

the guidelines in 2001 were to incorporate social housing into all new builds. This had the desired effect of pushing up the densities.

I agree with the above, this is no bad thing in many areas, provided it is done right.

Is the upper east side of New York such a shitty place to live after all?

Anonymous said...

Neighbourhoods are mostly about the people you put in them. Near where I grew up in Gateshead, there's masses of big beautifully built council houses with sprawling gardens front and back, large common spaces and little through traffic.

They are also the worst shitholes in the region because of the evil poor who live there.