Slew of Problems at Kevin Mc Cloud’s Swindon Triangle

Last year we were severely critical of the Glen Howells designed Swindon Triangle project to Kevin Mc Clouds’s Haboakus .

It seems we are not the only ones with complaints


Issues raised by occupants of the £4.2 million ‘environmentally responsible’ social housing development include water leaks, cracks in walls and ceilings and difficulties with doors and stairs.

Haboakus – which developed the 3,465m² project in a joint venture with housing association the GreenSquare Group – said that contractorWillmott Dixon and the association ‘were working together to resolve the issues’.

In a statement the company admitted it was ‘hugely upsetting that residents have had to bear the brunt of the problems’.

Architects Fail Foul of China Scam


 ‘The scam, we are told, is usually to get you to China, to wine and dine you, to get you to pay for everything (they say it shows respect), to go to a special shop to buy gifts, and the following day, on signing the contract, to pay a lawyer’s fee of between $5,000 and $10,000.

‘On returning from what seemed a successful trip, you find they have all disappeared, do not answer calls and emails, and you do not, in fact, have a contract.’

HBF – South West Housing Targets Cut by 115,000 Homes – 20%


In the South West:

  • Planned house-building slashed by 115,000 – 20%
  • Just  54% of the homes needed for local families are being built
  • House building down by a third in the last six years
  • Shortfall is costing 30,000 jobs and around £79M in Gvmnt funding
  • No of families on social housing waiting lists doubled in 10 years
  • Planning permissions have collapsed – down 36% in the last 5 years
  • Average house prices have doubled in 10 years from £93k to £186k

New research released today reveals that planned housing numbers in the South West have been reduced by 20% following the scrapping of the Regional Spatial Strategies and the introduction of the new planning system. This reduction is around 5700 homes per year which, over the 20 year period of the Regional Spatial Strategies, amounts to more than 115,000 homes.

These planned housing numbers are also 15% lower than the government’s projected household growth for the region which, added to the historic shortfall of new homes, will create huge pressure on local housing supply.

Meanwhile, the report reveals that house-building in the South West has plummeted by around 35% over the past 6 years while planning permissions – a good indicator of future supply – have fallen by a similar amount. Official government projections reveal that the number of households in the area is expected to increase by 23,000 annually – twice the current house-building level.

Average house prices in the area have doubled in the last decade, from £93,000 in 2000/01 to £186,000 – more than 7.5x average income – in 2010/11.  A lower quartile priced house – those most often bought by first time buyers – costs £142,500 in the South West meaning that young families need to find around £20,000 deposit to get a foot on the property ladder

Meanwhile, pressure on the area’s social housing is growing with the waiting list more than doubling from 89,576 families in 2001 to 186,226 families last year.

The report also examines the financial rewards cities, towns and villages in the South West would receive from building the homes it clearly needs. The Government’s new incentive for house building, the New Homes Bonus, could see funding for the region increase significantly at a time when cuts are being made to budgets across most service areas.

If enough homes in the South West are built to meet household projections the local authorities within it would see around £79 million extra funding every year and more than 30,000 local jobs created.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at HBF said today:

“The South West is suffering from a serious under supply of housing. It is crucial that more homes are built, particularly for younger families and first time buyers. It is concerning that local authorities in the area have reduced their housing targets by a fifth and important that they recognise the responsibility they have to communities in their region.

“On top of the obvious social benefits – increasing affordability and easing the pressure on social housing waiting lists – building the homes the area needs would create thousands of local jobs and bring in millions of pounds from central government.”


click here to open South West Housing Crisis Report

PINS ‘if there is a problem with the duty to cooperate, we can’t help you resolve it” #NPPF

Stuart Holland and RTPI Planning Convention as reported by Jamie Crpenter in Planning

Holland said that Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) lawyers had taken a “very firm view” that the new duty “applies to the plan-making stage”. “The DCLG lawyers’ view is that the plan preparation stops when you submit it to us,” he said.

Holland said that this meant “if there is a problem with the duty to cooperate, we can’t help you resolve it”. He said: “The approach that we take to problems in local plan work is that, if possible, we give local authorities every opportunity to sort out problems that we identify. We are prepared to adjourn an examination. It’s in no-one’s interest to find plans unsound”.

But Holland added: “With the duty to cooperate, we don’t have that ability. If there is a problem we cannot say to you ‘go away and sort out this problem’.

“So please, take the duty to cooperate incredibly seriously and sort it out before you submit your plans to us, because we cannot help you sort that out afterwards”.