Guardian Letter on the Boles Speech
About from tow paras, third para, which is simply unrealistic and will not meet nearly enough housing need, the last para. which does not account for the reaction against bylawe terraces which led to the Garden Cities movement, I think this is spot on. David were these Victorian typologies on greenfield land or not?
Nick Boles talks about everybody’s “right to a home with a little bit of ground around it”, and refers blithely to the fact that only (sic) 10% of our land is “developed”. Perhaps someone should remind him that England has the highest population density in Europe. There are four of us for every hectare of land, a hectare being about the size of a rugby pitch.
It simply isn’t an option to continue to replicate the 20th-century pattern of low-density housing, typically 25 dwellings per hectare, that produced our sprawling suburbs. Lower-density housing requires more infrastructure, is wasteful of energy, generates more traffic, rarely achieves the critical mass to support basic services, and fails to encourage social cohesion. Furthermore, it threatens our vulnerable countryside.
We have a highly urbanised population and we need to concentrate on creating compact and civilised urban environments within existing conurbations rather than encroaching on green fields.
During the 19th century our forefathers led the world in developing compact and efficient urban housing typologies. They created patterns of streets and squares punctuated with communal gardens, allotments and parks using continuous rows of narrow-fronted houses with small courtyard gardens and achieved densities at least two to three times higher than those of later suburban developments. Perhaps Mr Boles could learn from their example?
Hove, East Sussex