So what is it about flats and maisonettes that people don’t like?
The fact of the matter is that there is not enough social housing in the country and quite frankly there simply isn’t the space to keep on building more houses unless built on greenbelt land or land that is unsuitable i.e. flood plain or previous dump. What would you prefer – a house that comes complete with a flood warning or a gas mask as a house warming gift? Or a flat that is large, well built and in a safe and environmentally friendly spot?
It would be fair to say that a majority of residents don’t worry too much over a town or city’s core planning strategy. But they do note what’s happening in their road, especially when new flats are built – then for some reason, planners will get a negative reaction. If flats are getting knocked down, residents usually give a positive reaction.
Why? What’s the real difference between a four storey block of flats and a row of four terraced houses?
Not much really! One lot is built horizontally and the other vertically – you still have neighbours either side of you – no matter which way you look at it!
Housing Associations are now building flats that look like houses. OK. But you still don’t want it because it’s a flat! The majority of reasons are “but I want a house with a garden for the kids or animals” or “I want to sit out in my own garden – not a communal one”. They are fair points. But what about all the people who no longer have kids at home and/or don’t have pets? Why is a house so important?
Local authorities usually have more flats than houses in their housing stock. Obviously there are exceptions but a lot of councils only offer new tenants flats. Councils and Housing Associations are under a lot of pressure to build just houses and bungalows. The properties being built are getting smaller – the overall square footage per house has shrunk by 15%. Apiece of land that now holds 85 houses would have held 100 houses 30 years ago. Gardens have shrunk by a massive 40% in footage.
Your comments are welcome about this subject.
Author: CCHE Deb