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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Housing and What the People Want
A poll says that 53% of 'people' want more housebuilding in their areas. Admittedly this was commissioned by the House Builders Federation but anyway...anecdotally as well as statistically, I would tend to support this. Yesterday in a taxi from the station to my home town in deepest rural England, I had a pretty similar conversation with my driver, who complained against both the ghastliness of the new developments that take place around market towns in the area and the lack of affordable housing provision. He wanted less executive homes and more sensitively designed, affordable, well-located housing not just on the outskirts of towns but also in villages.

Meanwhile, the Tory offensive against Prescott's funding of an academic study about the potential of underused urban land for housing continues. The MP for Poole professes himself 'aghast' at the 'plans which are hardly plans at all. To get it clear, the study says that in areas like Poole, large suburban back gardens have development potential. Not that they will be appropriated, which would be illegal and impossible to legislate for. If I was a suburban back garden owner in Poole I would be rubbing my hands at the idea of being able to make money selling off a few square metres out the back, which is an entirely Tory thing to promote. Individual enterprise and all that. I'll repeat myself, the distortion of the facts here by the Tories is ridiculous and shameless scaremongering. I'm no New Labour fan at the moment, but the Opposition should have a little more respect for the electorate than to go around propagating such unfounded nonsense.

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