Archive for July, 2014

Small builders need help to solve the housing crisis

CPRE’s housing researcher, Luke Burroughs has just published an excellent new report, Increasing Diversity in the House Building Sector – http://bit.ly/1nuHpdo. It is the first of a series of publications aimed at provoking discussion about housing issues, and coming up with solutions. You can read my blog about Luke’s pamphlet on the Telegraph website: http://bit.ly/1tzzACD.

#wasteofspace: help CPRE identify brownfield land suitable for housing

CPRE is running a big new campaign to identify brownfield sites that could be used for housing. We want to produce a map showing the thousands of empty sites and unused buildings going to waste across England.

The campaign, #WasteOfSpace, will run for six months, as we also conduct research to get to the bottom of the available figures for brownfield land. Our last report on the issue calculated that there was enough brownfield land for 1.5 million new homes. A report by Civitas earlier this year put the figure at 2.5 million. The Government seems to think there is much less suitable brownfield land out there, but it has not produced any figures.

We need to know the real scope for brownfield development, and we want the general public to identify sites that may have been overlooked in official plans.    Continue reading ‘#wasteofspace: help CPRE identify brownfield land suitable for housing’

Save the countryside: build more roads

Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary made an interesting speech last week in which he talked about the need to meet ‘people’s rising expectations, both for the quality of our infrastructure and the impact of construction on the environment’.

I will pass over his bold reframing of HS2 as the biggest conservation programme in Europe. Most of the speech was about the roads programme. The Government has almost abandoned demand management, returning to a predict-and-provide approach to accommodating road traffic, so it was superficially encouraging to hear the Secretary of State talking about how to ‘manage the increasing demands on our roads’. What he was really talking about, however, was accommodating demand by using technology, which is not quite the same thing. Continue reading ‘Save the countryside: build more roads’