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HOUSEBUILDING: A LOST ENGLISH ART?. Professor Sir Peter Hall Happold Memorial Lecture London 27 November 2007. The Barker Challenge: Build More Homes. Need for massive increase: 200k/yr > 240k/yr > ?400k/yr? Will need brownfield + greenfield

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housebuilding a lost english art

HOUSEBUILDING:A LOST ENGLISH ART?

Professor Sir Peter Hall

Happold Memorial Lecture

London

27 November 2007

the barker challenge build more homes
The Barker Challenge:Build More Homes
  • Need for massive increase: 200k/yr > 240k/yr > ?400k/yr?
  • Will need brownfield + greenfield
  • “Political” attack by shires – “unholy alliance” with cities
  • The architects’ crusade: “Barcelonise” our cities

Source: Kate Barker Review 2004

240 000 homes a year not enough
240,000 homes a year: not enough?
  • UK population: sharp increase: 60.6m (2006) > 71.1m (2031): +10.5m (+19.1%)
  • Huge increase on last projection (+6.1m, +10.2%)
  • 5.6m (53.3% total) natural increase
  • 4.9m (46.7% total) net migration
  • England: +19.1%
good and bad arguments
Good and Bad Arguments
  • Bad: we must save farmland
  • Good: we should give people choice of access to public transport, shops, schools
  • By public transport as well as car
  • So: concentrate growth around transport interchanges
  • And: raise densities there (“pyramids of density”)
uk a barely developed countryside
UK: A barely developed countryside…
  • UK: 14.3% developed; England: 19.1%
  • These are overestimates:
  • England: 10.6% 1991
  • 1996-8: ca 8,000 hectares/year developed (=Runnymede)
land lying idle
Land Lying Idle…
  • EU Set-Aside: June 2004, 476,000 hectares, almost 5.0% of England
  • Greater SE: 100,270 hectares, 8.6%
  • Essex 10.7%
  • Hampshire 9.1%
  • Oxfordshire 11.4%
  • Bedfordshire 11.6%
  • Far in excess of most generous estimates of land needed for housing!
a continuing issue brownfield greenfield and the sequential test housing completions 1999 2004
A Continuing Issue? Brownfield, Greenfield and the Sequential TestHousing Completions: 1999, 2004
empty land empty homes
Empty Land, Empty Homes
  • Land banks: Are volume builders hoarding?
  • Buy-to-leave: 670,000 empty homes, 300,000 long-term
  • Joey Gardiner (R&R, 31 August): Central Leeds: 20% empty
  • Similar stories: Manchester, Salford, Birmingham, Hull, London
  • Manchester: up to 40% (Ron Hack, Ecotec)
  • London: 70% bought off-plan
what do people want earlier survey evidence
What do people want?Earlier survey evidence
  • Home Alone (Hooper et al 1998): only 10% want a flat; 33% won’t consider a flat
  • CPRE (Champion et al 1998): people want to live in/near country
  • Hedges and Clemens (q. Breheny 1997): city dwellers least satisfied
  • Conclusion: we hate cities!
what do people want mori for cabe 2005
What do people want?MORI for CABE, 2005
  • Over half the population want to live in a detached house
  • 22% prefer a bungalow
  • 14% a semi-detached house
  • 7% a terraced house
  • Detached house most popular choice, regardless of social status or ethnicity
  • Period properties (Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian) most desirable overall: 37%
new households new homes
New Households, New Homes
  • 80% one-person
  • But only about one-third “single never married”
  • Will demand more space per household: Separate kitchens/bathrooms/loos, Spare rooms, Work spaces
  • Land saving reduces as densities increase:
  • 30 dw/ha yields 60% of all potential gains, 40 dw/ha 70 per cent
  • So biggest gains from minimising development below 20 dw/h, not increasing 40 dw/ha+
  • So: go for 30-40 dw/ha with variations: higher close to transport services (Stockholm 1952!)
  • But won’t achieve same person densities as before!
densification effects
Densification: Effects

Land needed to accommodate 400 dwellings

Density Area required, ha.

Dws./ha. Net Gross

(with local facilities)

Land Saved % % Land Saved % %

Total Cumu- Total Cumu-

Saving lative Saving lative

10 40.0 46.3

20 20.0 20.0 50.0 50.0 25.3 21.0 45.4 45.4

30 13.3 6.7 16.7 66.7 17.9 7.4 15.9 61.3

40 10.0 3.3 8.3 75.0 14.3 3.6 7.8 69.1

50 8.0 2.0 5.0 80.0 12.1 2.2 4.8 73.9

60 6.6 1.4 3.5 83.5 10.6 1.5 3.2 77.1

lessons from land use
Lessons from Land Use
  • Public Transport needs minimum density:
  • Bus: 25 dw/ha
  • LRT: 60 dw/ha
  • Exceed recent densities
  • Big gain from 30-35 dw/ha
  • Plus “pyramids” up to 60 dw/ha round rail stations
  • Urban Task Force
  • Traditional – Stockholm, 1952!
  • Or Edwardian suburbs!
planning in britain a verdict 1
Planning in Britain:A Verdict (1)
  • Andrew Gilg: Planning in Britain: Understanding and Evaluating the Post-War System (London: Sage 2005)
where are we now gilg s verdict
Where Are We Now?Gilg’s Verdict
  • Middle-class bias
  • Not always democratic
  • Balances economic growth, conservation: a dilemma
  • Increasingly market-driven
  • No obvious alternative
where are we now gilg s verdict1
Where Are We Now?Gilg’s Verdict
  • Big Achievement: urban containment; preservation of countryside
  • Big Failure: development not sustainable: work, homes separate
  • Another Failure: transport not integrated; transport system overloaded
  • Need: integrated development; New Towns
  • Compare: Containment of Urban England (1973)!
making it happen the 2004 2008 acts
Making it happen:The 2004/2008 Acts
  • Radical change – biggest for 35 years
  • Working through at regional strategic level
  • Planning Gain Supplement > Tariffs
  • Can it solve the “infrastructure deficit”?
  • The major issue in solving the housing crisis!
  • But also: the NIMBY factor – will get worse?
  • 2008: RSSs to RDAs
where are we now a 3 pronged national spatial strategy
Where Are We Now?A 3-Pronged National Spatial Strategy
  • 3 key needs:
  • “Grow SEE”: Better connections on Sustainable Community Growth Corridors
  • “Shrinking the N-S Gap”: Bring North, Midland Core Cities/City Regions closer to London
  • “Grow City Regions” around Core Cities
planning gain supplement v tariffs
Planning Gain Supplement v. Tariffs
  • Planning Gain Supplement: a national development land tax) on development gains
  • Tariffs: similar, but levied by LPAs/vary LPA/LPA
  • Related to infrastructure costs of Local Development Plan
  • “Section 106” retained: MK, Bedford…
  • Local versus regional investment: ‘local gain’ for ‘local pain’
  • But problem of regional infrastructure: New rail connections; national motorway junctions (Article 14: A2, £92 million)
the north managed decline
The North: Managed Decline?
  • The great Pathfinder row
  • How much to keep? How much to demolish?
  • Are incentives perverse?
  • YES: SAVE Britain’s Heritage
  • NO: ODPM
  • Family-Friendly Housing in Cities
  • How much Greenfield?
  • Issues: VAT, Infrastructure (Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool)
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Deliver the houses
  • Defend a “balanced portfolio”: Brown/Greenfield
  • Build sustainable suburbs
  • But: can be “New Towns” too (seldom just that)
  • Sustainable urban places – linked along transport corridors
  • Fund the infrastructure/ Coordinate development, transport
  • Countryside – for people!
  • A big challenge: equal to 1950s, 1960s
  • They did it – so can we!
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