It is, obviously, possible that we’re going to gain a new set of slums from this tearing up of the planning system. After all, we really did have slums before we had a planning system so it’s obviously possible for them to return without one.
That’s also not quite how it works of course but we’ll get to that:
England’s planning changes will create ‘generation of slums’
RIBA and housing experts warn of erosion of building laws with fast-track proposals
OK, we’ve got to agree that it is possible at least:
The biggest shake-up of planning for decades has caused fury that moves to fast-track the construction of “beautiful” homes across England will “dilute” democratic oversight, choke off affordable housing and lead to the creation of “slum” dwellings.
Quite how being able to buil;d more houses more quickly will make housing less affordable is difficult. But of course they’re using their own, made up, definition of “affordable”. They mean cheap rentals for the proles. Rentals that the proles aren’t allowed to escape either.
While the proposed changes are likely to appeal to developers, they prompted stinging criticism from housing charities, planning officers and architects who warned of a new generation of fast and substandard housing.
See who is complaining? The housing charities get to allocate – and often enough live in themselves- those affordable houses. The planning officers all get fired if there is no planning system. And if the whole thing is easy then why bother employing an architect to shepherd it through the system?
That is we’re in Upton Sinclair territory here and exactly the people screaming shows us how well it will work.
“While they might help to ‘get Britain building’ – paired with the extension of permitted development rights last week – there’s every chance they could also lead to the development of the next generation of slum housing,” said RIBA president Alan Jones.
Which does bring us to that problem of slum housing, doesn’t it? The thing is the pre-planning system slums were always in the old buildings. The stuff from the previous generation or three that was either now run down or superseded by the desires of a now richer society. That pre-planning system society never did build new slums. We had to wait for RIBA to be designing places before we had that joy – Ronan Point etc, instant slums in the sky. Taking the architects out of this ha a lot to recommend it.
We’ve also got good evidence of what a rich society, in the absence of planning, does build. All those faux Tudor semis and detacheds in those ribbon developments across the south east. The things that people happily pay a million to live in today. Housing people want to live in built where they want to live. Such a shocker that perhaps we should actually give it a try? You know, despite the architects, housing charities and other grifters crying about it?