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Planning -,a note of caution

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 mike123 21:19 Tue

I think in principle building lots of houses is good for the country but after tonight’s evening run I’m feeling uneasy . I live in a pretty little market town not unlike many in the uk . I recently moved back into the town after 14 years in a nearby village . Back in the day one of my evening runs  from home  was up a couple of small hills ( fells ) . Between town and said fells there is now a large housing estate  .  I accept that people need houses . The fields on which the houses have been built used to have a couple of rights of way and several paths which weren’t rights of way but people walked thier dogs , ran , biked etc. we just tried to run through the estate to get to the footpaths up to the hills . It wasn’t impossible to get through but The developer has clearly been allowed to disregard the existing rights of way . We tried to skirt around the edge but the last house is less than 1m from the field boundary . It’s not impossible to get through but has been made intentionally difficult  Shifting the last house a couple of metres would have meant a sensible route around the estate but he it has clearly allowed him to squeeze in 1 more house ( 1 out of 400 )Strange that I should do this after listening to r4 on the way home about the relaxation of planning laws . I fully support the need for more housing . I  have no problem with the 399 houses that have been built on the edge of town , but I’m fearful of the impact on access to green spaces on allowing developers to disregard sensible restrictions .

 Sam Beaton 21:45 Tue
In reply to mike123:

PROWs are well protected by the planning process. It would take a fairly spectacular shift in planning policy and legislation for this to change. It might possibly have happened under a Tory government but next to no chance under Labour.

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 Billhook 21:46 Tue
In reply to mike123:

Re the RoW.  If you live in a National Park then contact them - they are the responsible authority.  If you live elsewhere then you need to contact your local council as they are responsible for ROW outside national parks.

 RobAJones 21:59 Tue
In reply to mike123:

I assume you are talking about Strawberry Grange?

If so I blame a combination of  planning department and locals (developers are always going to try and maximise their profit by whatever means) who objected to the proposed development. IMO the Reserved Matters meeting was hijacked by people still wanting to prevent the development, when it was too late. This meant there wasn't a proper discussion about the proposed altering of the ROW. The overworked/understaffed planners then made IMO the "wrong' decision, although o the plus side there are a much higher than usual  proportion of affordable houses in the development. 

I hope one of the early uses of AI will be to provide consistency in planning decisions. 

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 Rick Graham 22:09 Tue
In reply to mike123:

As a site engineer, I have been involved with hundreds of construction sites in Cumbria and N lancs, including 1000s of houses.

I cannot recall being on a single one with a ROW dispute, we always had to provide temporary or  permanent alternatives. Its illegal not to.

Maybe I managed to avoid the cowboys

 Rick Graham 22:09 Tue
In reply to mike123:

As a site engineer, I have been involved with hundreds of construction sites in Cumbria and N lancs, including 1000s of houses.

I cannot recall being on a single one with a ROW dispute, we always had to provide temporary or  permanent alternatives. Its illegal not to.

Maybe I managed to avoid the cowboys

In reply to Billhook:

Kind of... the highway officer of the local authority highway  authority is responsible, although in National Parks they often delegate that to the National Park to do on their behalf.

What I would do is lookup where the PRoW is and not assume the OS map is correct, maybe the development moved the PRoW?? Go to your local authority portal and look it up!

If it was relocated, go and check that out, if it wasn't then you need to report it as obstructed 

Disclaimer, this is explained to me by my dad while walking in Wales a while ago (he's not up to much walking now) but he used to do a lot of planning and PRoW stuff. If it's wrong info, I'll shirk all blame onto him

Post edited at 11:22
 PaulW 11:48 Wed
In reply to mike123:

We have quite a few new housing developments round us.

In all cases the rights of way have been kept, sometimes diverted slightly but always still in existence.

The informal paths used by dog walkers and kids all get swallowed up though.

 Baz P 12:09 Wed
In reply to mike123:

Granting planning permission for housing and commercial sites should provide a golden opportunity for councils to stipulate that there should be proper dual use paths and gates and that existing paths be upgraded. This opportunity is often missed by an apathetic council and/or rights of way officer. Some of this is sometimes “sweat-talked by the developer but then dropped for whatever reason. 
I despair as my local Labour council has already given permission for 4,000 houses to be built on two large fields which are at present grazing cows and was before Starmer makes it easier. These fields are half a mile from a brown field ex pit site. 
This is levelling up. 

4
In reply to mike123:

This sounds like an extremely minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, because you could still get through? Essentially its a redirected right of way. Things can and do change, and that is good.

 Ridge 12:57 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

> This opportunity is often missed by an apathetic council and/or rights of way officer.

In West Cumbria it's nothing to do with apathy, it's lack of funding. Rights of way are being blocked left right and centre, and the Council can't keep up.

 Sam Beaton 13:09 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

This opportunity is often missed because developers have too much power and are able to wriggle out of aspirations and policies designed to improve leisure and green travel opportunities associated with housing developments. Not because of apathetic planners or PROW Officers

 Baz P 13:43 Wed
In reply to Ridge:

It doesn’t take much funding though to say “no, unless” to a developer. 

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 fred99 14:35 Wed
In reply to mike123:

Around where I live the problem is more that, instead of building small cheap housing that the locals can afford, the developers keep building large expensive houses that can only be afforded by well off people moving into the area.

End result - trunk roads clogged with commuter traffic every day, and zero improvement to the shortage of homes.

1
 RobAJones 15:06 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

> I despair as my local Labour council has already given permission for 4,000 houses to be built on two large fields

Was the site identified on the Local Plan, if so there is nothing they could do. If it wasn't are the council meeting their targets regarding the local plan, if not then it's only a matter of time before the developers challenge it. Look at Wrexham Council, even after  hundreds of thousands was spent on legal fees, the threat of Councillors doing jail time meant they backed down and the development is going ahead. 

>These fields are half a mile from a brown field ex pit site. 

The only way I see those sites being developed and more affordable houses being built is going back to Social Housing, but there seems little desire to raise or borrow the money to do that. 

 RobAJones 15:09 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

> It doesn’t take much funding though to say “no, unless” to a developer. 

How many lawyers do you know who work for "not much“? 

 Baz P 16:00 Wed
In reply to RobAJones:

I don’t profess to know about local planning but it sounds like developers can do pretty much what they like if they have more money than the councils. A very worrying prospect. 

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 Sam Beaton 16:09 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

If you don't know much about local planning then why did you sound so sure earlier that the problems under discussion here are the fault of apathetic councils and their employees? Your last post is fairly accurate though. Big house building companies hold most of the cards

 montyjohn 16:37 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

> I don’t profess to know about local planning but it sounds like developers can do pretty much what they like if they have more money than the councils. A very worrying prospect. 

Not the case in Croydon anymore.

Until a few years ago the LA was letting loads of awful residential plans go through. Now Croydon as a local Mayor, it's gone the other way where nothing gets through at all. I've been speaking to developers who basically say they won't work in Croydon anymore as it's just a waste of time and money.

I'm not sure if it was worse before we had a Mayor or after. Both are bad. Enabling developers to build with sensible mitigation is what's needed.

 neilh 16:41 Wed
In reply to fred99:

Those people also buying the bigger houses are usually moving up and releasing other houses lower in the chain. 
 

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 Sam Beaton 17:53 Wed
In reply to neilh:

That doesn't change the fact that not enough affordable housing is being built and that it's currently incredibly difficult to improve that situation

 neilh 18:00 Wed
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Yes it is a very difficult position. never said otherwise. But it’s also realistic  to point out there is alot of demand across the board otherwise the larger houses would not sell.

 RobAJones 18:11 Wed
In reply to neilh:

> Yes it is a very difficult position. never said otherwise. But it’s also realistic  to point out there is alot of demand across the board otherwise the larger houses would not sell.

Which is point developers often make. I'm not sure adding to the 10 million or so properties with 2 or more spare bedrooms should be a priority though. Although I do agree that more houses in general need building. Perhaps a "bedroom tax" similar to the one people on housing benefit "pay" would encourage a more efficient use of our current housing stock. 

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 Baz P 18:58 Wed
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> If you don't know much about local planning then why did you sound so sure earlier that the problems under discussion here are the fault of apathetic councils and their employees? 


Just from discussions from two family members who have worked for a local council for 28 and 43 years. Did I hit a sore point?

 Sam Beaton 19:04 Wed
In reply to neilh:

Maybe some people have no choice but to buy somewhere bigger than they can ideally afford because there's a lack of affordable housing?

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 Sam Beaton 19:05 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

Just disagreeing with you, that's all!

OP mike123 20:14 Wed
In reply to mike123: thanks all for the discussion  I perhaps didn’t really make my point well if enough . Something clearly has to be done about the lack of houses but a blanket relaxation  of planning restrictions will almost certainly have a negative impact on “our “ access to the countryside  has I not been listening to the today program on the way home I probably wouldn’t have posted on here . The development in question was finished a couple of years ago . The developer made millions  . He could have easily put a good well sign posted path around it for  a tiny  fraction of his profit  he dudnt / hasn’t / wasn’t made to .I think my point is that what I heard on the radio was that this kind of thing is just going to get worse unless people sit up and take notice .

 Sam Beaton 20:58 Wed
In reply to mike123:

Having to provide/maintain paths within new developments is not the thing holding back house building. Relaxing planning rules to address our housing crisis would involve relaxing other restrictions and would have minimal impact either way on the provision of footpaths and cycle tracks within new housing estates

 Bellie 21:11 Wed
In reply to mike123:

The footpath is the responsibility of the council. (I'm not sticking up for developers btw). Just as at the end of a development the council adopt the roads and paths, they will be responsible for ensuring signage and access for rights of way.  Whilst funding is tight - and footpaths officers don't have the time and where with all to check. If you call them about a problem with signage or access they are usually on the ball.  

 neilh 21:15 Wed
In reply to Sam Beaton
 

that’s a perverse argument as they can clearly afford it if they buy it. They might be stretched but that is their decision .Unaffordable means unaffordable in my books. 

 Sam Beaton 21:34 Wed
In reply to neilh:

That wasn't what I was saying. Are you suggesting that the country needs to build more new 5 bed detached houses than new 3 bed town houses/semis?

 RobAJones 22:18 Wed
In reply to mike123:

>The development in question was finished a couple of years ago . The developer made millions  . He could have easily put a good well sign posted path around it for  a tiny  fraction of his profit  he dudnt 

My mistake, your description seemed to fit the Strawberry Grange development. I used to live on Bellbrigg Lonning and was quite concerned about the permanent closure of the footpath through the site.

Since the Order is made under Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (the 1990 Act), if I am to confirm it I must be satisfied that it is necessary to permanently close the way in question (shown as A-B on the Order map) to allow development to be carried out in accordance with a valid planning permission. 

However there the developer has fulfilled their obligation

Once construction is complete it is intended that the public will be able to walk via a line mostly to the south of the original definitive route, essentially along footways beside new estate roads in a broadly east-west direction with connecting non-vehicular links at either end, joining Bellbrigg Lonning at the west and Footpath 223003 at the east. The route would be signposted and waymarked, and would benefit from engraved stone flags inset into the path surface at intervals along its length.

The waymarks are Oak leaves on the pavement and are only missing at the far end where they are still working on the road and pavement.  It pretty much follows the original right of way.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6062ee6be90e072d9af1df1b/row...

To be fair to Allerdale planning they are pretty good compared to other areas I've been involved with, its far from ideal but they are  helped by being up to date with their long standing local plan. It's a shame that's not the case everywhere. 

 montyjohn 23:06 Wed
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> That doesn't change the fact that not enough affordable housing is being built and that it's currently incredibly difficult to improve that situation

What is an affordable house? A house so small and crap that nobody wants it so it's cheap yet still too expensive for most to buy?

Build houses people actually want to live in.

The solution isn't to reduce housing size/quality.

Increase supply of decent houses so they become affordable.

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In reply to mike123:

One of the pdo sematic issues (I understand) is that the police see interconnectedness with paths as a crime risk. The idea is that having paths linking areas of housing - eg two cul de sacs - makes it easier for criminals to escape. This they object to plans which have 'too many' intrrconnections. This can be extendended to cycle paths. Oddly roads are okay.

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 RobAJones 23:27 Wed
In reply to montyjohn:

> What is an affordable house? A house so small and crap that nobody wants it so it's cheap yet still too expensive for most to buy?

Why do affordable homes have to be small and crap? 

 Sam Beaton 05:56 Thu
In reply to HardenClimber:

Some police officers might think like that, but thankfully they have no say in what footpaths and cycle tracks are provided in and around new housing developments

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 Sam Beaton 06:23 Thu
In reply to montyjohn:

I agree that we need to build more houses. But the emphasis needs to be on 2 and 3 bed town houses, not 5 bedroom detached houses

2

> Some police officers might think like that, but thankfully they have no say in what footpaths and cycle tracks are provided in and around new housing developments

Ah, but the police do...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/02/police-public-spaces-...

 neilh 08:50 Thu
In reply to Sam Beaton:

5 bed houses would probably be used for a family with two kids, and wfh/hybrid working parents etc.So there is bound to be high demand for those.Along with high demand for everything else.

Me- I do not know the overall solution.Its going to take a long time to resolve and no obvious quick fixes.But at least you have a govt now whose priority is growth and can force through national planning changes on nimby's.Building a new town in the South east is going to be a major accomplishment for example.Never mind all the supporing infrastructure like the new reservoirs needed in the South East and the power supplies in the golden triangle area.

Post edited at 08:53
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 RobAJones 09:09 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> 5 bed houses would probably be used for a family with two kids, and wfh/hybrid working parents etc.So there is bound to be high demand for those.Along with high demand for everything else.

Do you think the number of families with 2+ kids is increasing or decreasing in UK. I agree there is a high demand for 5 bed houses, but isn't that because most of the current ones  are occupied by one or two people? 

 montyjohn 09:28 Thu
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> I agree that we need to build more houses. But the emphasis needs to be on 2 and 3 bed town houses, not 5 bedroom detached houses

Why, 80% of England's housing stock is already three bedroom dwellings or less.

In terms of heating costs with modern standards and overall footprint of the house, there's not much between a 3 bed and a 5 bed. 

There seems to be a social crack down on the idea of having spare bedrooms. That's not the problem. Nothing wrong with having spare bedrooms for a guest room, gym or whatever.

If we built more family homes there wouldn't be a problem and people could afford a little bit of luxury instead of this race to the bottom where we build the smallest, cheapest houses that standards allow.

If there was a surplus of larger family homes, the prices of smaller homes what drop very suddenly. If we instead continue to build small houses, then they will be the only option and they would all be equally poor value for money.

Think of it this way. The reason I can buy an old GoPro on eBay for less than £50 is because they keep releasing newer and better versions that people want. Meaning you can hardly give away the old versions. Great if you want a bargain and don't care about having the best out there. If GoPro had decided to stick with the Hero4 and keep churning them out as cheaply as possible my only option would be an over priced outdated unit with no bargains to be had.

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 timjones 09:36 Thu
In reply to montyjohn:

> Why, 80% of England's housing stock is already three bedroom dwellings or less.

> In terms of heating costs with modern standards and overall footprint of the house, there's not much between a 3 bed and a 5 bed. 

> There seems to be a social crack down on the idea of having spare bedrooms. That's not the problem. Nothing wrong with having spare bedrooms for a guest room, gym or whatever.

> If we built more family homes there wouldn't be a problem and people could afford a little bit of luxury instead of this race to the bottom where we build the smallest, cheapest houses that standards allow.

> If there was a surplus of larger family homes, the prices of smaller homes what drop very suddenly. If we instead continue to build small houses, then they will be the only option and they would all be equally poor value for money.

> Think of it this way. The reason I can buy an old GoPro on eBay for less than £50 is because they keep releasing newer and better versions that people want. Meaning you can hardly give away the old versions. Great if you want a bargain and don't care about having the best out there. If GoPro had decided to stick with the Hero4 and keep churning them out as cheaply as possible my only option would be an over priced outdated unit with no bargains to be had.

The problem is that whether you are talking about homes or electronic tat the constant drive for bigger and better is not good for the environment.

1
 RobAJones 10:02 Thu
In reply to montyjohn:

> Think of it this way. The reason I can buy an old GoPro on eBay for less than £50 is because they keep releasing newer and better versions that people want. Meaning you can hardly give away the old versions. Great if you want a bargain and don't care about having the best out there. If GoPro had decided to stick with the Hero4 and keep churning them out as cheaply as possible my only option would be an over priced outdated unit with no bargains to be had.

Even if we'd continued churning out, mainly under a (sane) Tory government, the social housing built in the 50's I  doubt  we'd be giving them away now. Although there would probably be fewer worth over a million. 

 Paulos 10:03 Thu
In reply to neilh:

Doesn't matter whose in power, everything is such poor quality these days (enshitification) due to short termism and govt. is the same as industry in this regard. It would be good to see self-sustaining new towns instead of the new build estates in houses/areas on the edge of existing towns. But that requires long term thinking for infrastructure, shops, schools, GP surgeries, jobs etc.
Also house builders are unlikely to deliver more than 100 houses a year partly because the market won’t absorb more. Market failures like this is exactly what public investment is for; of course this country suffers from the fallacy that government is akin to a household and must budget its affairs in a similar fashion.

The issue is very complex and a simply having more let-rip development won't necessarily lead to an increase in affordability
https://architectureau.com/articles/housing-affordability-will-require-a-de...

 Rick Graham 10:16 Thu
In reply to RobAJones:

> Why do affordable homes have to be small and crap? 

When we bought a new build house 5 years ago, it was priced at 75% per square metre compared 60s built houses nearby that needed a lot of work.

It was on a new estate, 5 full price, 4 half price .

The main reason for the 75% was the local occupancy clause. We like it, more house for the money, modern insulation, neighbours and not surrounded by holiday homes or airb+b.

 montyjohn 10:20 Thu
In reply to timjones:

> The problem is that whether you are talking about homes or electronic tat the constant drive for bigger and better is not good for the environment.

I don't think that argument is valid.

Well built houses last hundreds of years. The difference in embedded carbon per year between a three or five bedroom house is negligible. We're connected to an ever greener grid so that argument will soon be irrelevant and we need to build for future conditions.

We don't want to be knocking down small houses in 50 years because people want and expect bigger houses.

 RobAJones 10:39 Thu
In reply to Rick Graham:

> The main reason for the 75% was the local occupancy clause. We like it, more house for the money, modern insulation, neighbours and not surrounded by holiday homes or airb+b.

Affordable housing and local occupancy clauses do seem to vary considerable, but from my experience I'm surprised they are associated by small and crap. 

Unfortunately I'm helping a friend with probate and selling an affordable property. They have a 60/40 split, basically when it comes to selling we've had it valued on the open market and have to sell at 60% of that price, so someone, who works within 10 miles of the property, is going to live in a 250k house with 150k mortgage. It's pretty much the same as other houses on the development, definitely not smaller and crapper 

 fred99 10:43 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> Those people also buying the bigger houses are usually moving up and releasing other houses lower in the chain. 

>  

Maybe where they come from, but the area they're moving into just gets worse - houses are built on the "permitted" land, so the amount of land still available is reduced. However the number of smaller houses that could be put on that land would be 3 or 4 times the amount if smaller houses with less luxurious grounds were built.

And you're ignoring one other feature - locals are being both priced out of living anywhere near where they work, and this means yet more and longer commuting. The M5 near me was 2 lanes and quiet a few years ago, now it's 4 lanes (well 3 + a "smart" bit) and rammed. Not exactly the way forward to reduce emissions.

 abcdefg 10:45 Thu
In reply to RobAJones:

> Unfortunately I'm helping a friend with probate and selling an affordable property. They have a 60/40 split, basically when it comes to selling we've had it valued on the open market and have to sell at 60% of that price ...

I don't understand. Why do you have to sell it at less than its value?

 fred99 10:48 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> 5 bed houses would probably be used for a family with two kids,...

Why on earth must a couple with 2 kids need FIVE bedrooms ?

Three should be enough.

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 RobAJones 11:22 Thu
In reply to abcdefg:

Because he only bought it for 60% of its open market value. So the new owners will hopefully pay 160k, when other similar properties on the development are selling for 250k, say they live in it for 20 years and it's open market value doubles in value to 500k they will have to sell for 300k as that will be the terms they bought under initially.

Edit. 

I think the initial price was originally determined based on the local median full time wage, hence in theory, making the house affordable for locals. Some earlier local occupancy clauses in the Lakes did allow some people to sell at open market value, after a number of years, but to me that seemed wrong and open to abuse, especially as they are local occupancy not local ownership clauses. 

Post edited at 11:50
 abcdefg 12:17 Thu
In reply to RobAJones:

> Because he only bought it for 60% of its open market value. ...

Ah right, thanks. I had no idea that such stipulations or clauses existed.

 neilh 12:18 Thu
In reply to RobAJones

There has been a shift to alot of wfh, hybrid working.

Are you proposing that people should be forced to down size?

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 neilh 12:20 Thu
In reply to fred99:

WFH or hybrid working - bedrooms are then offices ( you do know alot of people work like this now.......).

1
 abcdefg 12:24 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> Are you proposing that people should be forced to down size?

RobAJones can answer for himself, but obviously, since we don't live in a dictatorship, nobody could literally be forced to downsize.

Bur perhaps you are thinking of tax measures (or similar) which could be used as a 'persuasion' (or incentive.) If so, what kinds of things might you have in mind?

 neilh 12:35 Thu
In reply to abcdefg:

It was Rob who suggested the downsizing, I will let him answer.

 abcdefg 12:44 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> It was Rob who suggested the downsizing, I will let him answer.

But it was you who introduced the possibility of such downsizing being forced. I think that's a total red herring.

 neilh 12:55 Thu
In reply to abcdefg:

Rob to me was suggesting it by his post......

Post edited at 12:56
 Sam Beaton 13:37 Thu
In reply to HardenClimber:

I think that's an unnecessarily alarmist view of how much control the police have, or think they have, over planning issues. But I'm grateful for being made aware of it, thanks

1
 tehmarks 14:08 Thu
In reply to Sam Beaton:

I would struggle to find it now, but within the last few years I read a newspaper article on exactly that subject. I think you'd be surprised at how much say the police have had over such urban planning issues.

 Sam Beaton 14:12 Thu
In reply to tehmarks:

I have worked closely with police and with planning authorities for a long time now on related matters and I have never come across this in my professional life

 tehmarks 14:18 Thu
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Fair. Let me test my Google skills and see if I can dig it out.

 montyjohn 14:24 Thu
In reply to fred99:

> Why on earth must a couple with 2 kids need FIVE bedrooms ?

> Three should be enough.

I find it strange having an opinion of how much space somebody should need. Then it goes from strange to scary when people start talking about policy. 

I have two kids and I want my next house to be at least five bedrooms. I can confirm three is not enough. Six would be ideal.

  • Three bedrooms
  • Office
  • Guest Room
  • Hobby/Gym/Art room
2
 tehmarks 14:24 Thu
In reply to Sam Beaton:

The concept in question that I was thinking of is 'Secured by Design' (https://ww3.rics.org/uk/en/modus/built-environment/homes-and-communities/ur...) and the article I read was on the police using their powers to veto designs with pedestrian cut-throughs and such things that are to the obvious benefit of those who actually live and move about these spaces. Such as:

He says that as part of an affordable housing scheme in London, his practice designed an open space between two blocks, aimed at encouraging neighbours to meet and socialise. But a DOCO suggested that it would provide too many escape routes for criminals, resulting in it being redesigned as a gated area. “We were able to make a late change that was acceptable to the planning authority, but it was detrimental to the project.”

 pasbury 15:18 Thu
In reply to montyjohn:

You live on a different planet to me mate.

1
 fred99 15:35 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> WFH or hybrid working - bedrooms are then offices ( you do know alot of people work like this now.......).

People who can work from home are (generally) on higher incomes. However it is rather difficult to work from home if your occupation is one of the following;

Medical - Doctor, Nurse, X-Ray Technician etc.

Shop Worker

Warehouse

Manufactory

Driver

Cafe/Restaurant/Bar

Now I understand that the majority of UKC persons are middle class with white collar occupations that may lead to home working, but the overwhelming majority of working people in this country CANNOT work from home. Not only that, but single occupiers are a very significant percentage of the population, so any excess bedrooms are just that - completely unnecessary.

 RobAJones 15:39 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> In reply to RobAJones

> There has been a shift to alot of wfh, hybrid working.

True and a bit like the social and mental health problems caused by kids not attending school I have some concerns. I like the option of working from a community hub/cafe etc. for those who want some face to face interaction during the day. 

> Are you proposing that people should be forced to down size?

Forced is a strong word I'd prefer to encourage by making it more attractive, but accept that the current system of cutting housing benefit is more along the lines of forcing those families to move, do you oppose this cutting of benefit if people  have spare bedrooms? I'd be in favour of things like scrapping stamp duty for people who are downsizing but also increasing council tax on those living in large houses. The main issue though is the lack of attractive properties for people to downsize to, which is becoming more of a problem as the number of older people increases. People  downsizing will help free up larger houses for larger families, although I think most the 120k families with more than 2 kids are more worried about the child benefit cap than a lack of 5 bed properties. Building more 4/5 bed properties deprives many of the opportunity to downsize even though a more manageable property should be desirable when you get older. When given the option people, often in their 50's or 60's, buying second homes in the Lakes are after nice 2/3 bed cottage, so these are often sold for as much as 6/8 bed former B&B's that require a bit of work. 

 RobAJones 15:42 Thu
In reply to fred99:

> People who can work from home are (generally) on higher incomes. 

If you can work from home, how long before you won't be working, because AI will be instead? 

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 RobAJones 15:48 Thu
In reply to tehmarks:

>  I read was on the police using their powers to veto designs with pedestrian cut-throughs and such things that are to the obvious benefit of those who actually live and move about these spaces. 

Do they have the power to veto planning decisions, I thought they had the same power as any individual/organisation

> But a DOCO suggested that it would provide too many escape routes for criminals, resulting in it being redesigned as a gated area.

Suggested not ordered? Doesn't it then come back to money. I can suggest something but would probably be ignored unless I had the resources to make ignoring the suggestion time consuming and expensive? 

 RobAJones 16:02 Thu
In reply to abcdefg:

> RobAJones can answer for himself, but obviously, since we don't live in a dictatorship, nobody could literally be forced to downsize.

Did this sort of happen when we had social housing? I remember Gran ended up in a small council bungalow, but I don't know whether she chose to move there or was decided for her? 

In reply to Sam Beaton:

> I have worked closely with police and with planning authorities for a long time now on related matters and I have never come across this in my professional life

I've personally come across them objecting to a cycle path.

I also wonder how much influence they have early on given the extreme lack of interconnectedness of some developments...which I'm sure would save the developers money.

 tehmarks 18:58 Thu
In reply to HardenClimber:

That's exactly the article I was looking for 🙄

I should perhaps learn to read properly before allowing myself to contribute...

 girlymonkey 06:21 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

My husband and I have no children, so in theory a 1 bed house would be sufficient. However, we live in the sticks, and if people come to visit then they need to stay, so we actually have a 3 bed house. Also, smaller houses often have much smaller gardens, are often terraced and have less storage space. We have a lot of outdoor kit and 2 dogs so we like having a garage, decent garden and outside access to the garden. 

So yes, 3 bedrooms for just us is excessive, but we like it. You could argue that we are depriving a family of a home, but actually we have been doing a full renovation. So whenever we do move, there will be a good quality family home available rather than the wreck that this was. 

 Ridge 07:51 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

> My husband and I have no children, so in theory a 1 bed house would be sufficient. However, we live in the sticks, and if people come to visit then they need to stay, so we actually have a 3 bed house. Also, smaller houses often have much smaller gardens, are often terraced and have less storage space. We have a lot of outdoor kit and 2 dogs so we like having a garage, decent garden and outside access to the garden. 

> So yes, 3 bedrooms for just us is excessive, but we like it. You could argue that we are depriving a family of a home, but actually we have been doing a full renovation. So whenever we do move, there will be a good quality family home available rather than the wreck that this was. 

Ditto.

 RobAJones 08:33 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

> My husband and I have no children, so in theory a 1 bed house would be sufficient. However, we live in the sticks, and if people come to visit then they need to stay, so we actually have a 3 bed house. Also, smaller houses often have much smaller gardens, are often terraced and have less storage space. We have a lot of outdoor kit and 2 dogs so we like having a garage, decent garden and outside access to the garden. 

Pretty much the position we are in, just with pet hedgehogs rather than dogs. Where do you draw the line when asking peole to pay more? At the moment those on benefits do, my mum gets a discount? 

> but we like it. 

Monty says the same about a gym and spar, the second home owners in our village say the same. Obviously all are prepared to pay the purchase price, but is that the real cost? Does it also feed the view that property is an investment, in which case a housing shortage increases the value of your portfolio, on paper at least. 

 montyjohn 08:43 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

> So yes, 3 bedrooms for just us is excessive, but we like it.

You just gave lots of valid reasons why the extra space make life more comfortable for you so it's not excessive.

 Sam Beaton 09:04 Fri
In reply to tehmarks:

That's the concept that HardenClimber referred to upthread. As I say, I have never come across it professionally

 Sam Beaton 09:09 Fri
In reply to HardenClimber:

> I've personally come across them objecting to a cycle path.

The police can absolutely comment on planning applications,and rightly so. But so can anyone else and I've never come across cycle paths being refused because of concerns from the police. Green travel routes are an integral part of planning guidance and frameworks for new housing estates and incredibly hard to successfully argue against (again, rightly so) 

 Sam Beaton 09:10 Fri
In reply to tehmarks:

> I should perhaps learn to read properly before allowing myself to contribute...

Me too it seems 😁

 Sam Beaton 09:12 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> You just gave lots of valid reasons why the extra space make life more comfortable for you so it's not excessive.

Don't disagree on that point, but it does sound like you're considerably better off than the majority of people in this country worried about their own housing situation

 montyjohn 09:20 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

>> I have no children, so in theory a 1 bed house would be sufficient. However, we live in the sticks, and if people come to visit then they need to stay, so we actually have a 3 bed house. 

> Pretty much the position we are in, just with pet hedgehogs rather than dogs.

So I assume by this you are living in a three bedroom house with no kids?

> Monty says the same about a gym and spar

Do you have a grey beard by any chance? 

We all seem to agree that a couple of spare bedrooms for hobbies and an office are great, but you seem to think from your made up spa comment that my desire for 5 bedrooms is excessive? So people with kids should just squeeze into smaller houses whilst those without can stretch their legs in a three bed house? How does that make sense in your head.

> I'm not sure adding to the 10 million or so properties with 2 or more spare bedrooms should be a priority though.

Why should it be, you've already got your spare rooms, sod everyone else, they can make do with the bare minimum. We've got the environment to think about remember.

There are 30M properties in the UK. 6M have four bedrooms or more which are effectively shared between 8M families with children. There is a shortage of decent size family homes. Your focus on building smaller homes doesn't make any sense. If families with children could upgrade to a suitable size house there would be plenty of properties for individuals and families without children. Three bedrooms or less make up 80% of the housing stock.

> Perhaps a "bedroom tax" similar to the one people on housing benefit "pay" would encourage a more efficient use of our current housing stock. 

So how would this work, those with kids pay more tax? Great.

 girlymonkey 09:38 Fri
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Indeed, we have benefited from the baby boomer generation as we inherited very well. And then having no kids means that our spare income can go into renovations. 

I am not denying at all that we are in an incredibly lucky situation, merely pointing out why someone might want a house with more rooms than they "need". 

I am very much mindful about having won in the lottery of life, we don't earn a huge amount, but can live comfortably due to previous generations doing well out of property. 

 RobAJones 09:51 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> So how would this work, those with kids pay more tax? Great.

No the complete opposite, at least while those kids are living with you. So I suppose it might even out over a lifetime, but you would pay less while the kids are living at home and more when they have left, if you remain in the same property. I'm saying, at the moment, I should be paying more and you less, I'm surprised you have a problem with that 

Post edited at 09:53
 montyjohn 10:23 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

> I'm surprised you have a problem with that 

I have a problem with policy that strips away ambition to better your circumstances. 

It was also very clear from my post that my interpretation of your suggestion was that those that need bigger houses would pay more tax. So not sure why you were surprised by my response. I don't agree with taxing people more who choose to have a bigger house.

I think the only thing that should be taxed is disposable income offset against reasonable caps to non disposable income. Everything else should be tax free so it's up to us how we spend our money. I can't think of a fairer tax system.

Post edited at 10:41
1
 girlymonkey 11:44 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

I think a lot of council tax brackets haven't been revised for a long time, so there could be an argument for doing that. 

However, I do tend to agree that tax largely should be based on earned income rather than property up to a certain point. (When it comes to a primary residence anyway, I would tax second homes to the hilt!).

We are in a large house, but it sat on the market for months and months before we bought it because the roof leaked, the oil boiler leaked, there's damp in the downstairs. You don't want to move in with kids and start doing all of that work. I have had a number of discussions on here about all the work we are doing (having to do almost everything ourselves as no one will turn up, and also it's cheaper), it has been, and continues to be, a monumental task. We replaced the roof this spring (not bad for a DIY job!), and we have set aside a week in Sept to tackle the dampness downstairs.

If we were paying higher tax to live here, we might not have been able to take it on. And if you were living in a bigger house which needs more work done on it then you might just let the place run into ruin if you are paying more tax. If you earn enough to cover that, then great, but there will be plenty of people in my generation living in houses which they couldn't have bought without help from previous generations. We are the people with time and energy to do this. Old people generally can't, and people with young families generally can't. 

So, generally I agree with raising taxes, and taxing more on earnings makes sense, more on second homes, maybe more on homes over £400k or something like that (depending on where in the country you live). But a higher tax just to live in a house which someone deems "unnecessarily" large could have a negative effect on the house stock and market. I like to think that we are doing a good turn for whomever buys this whenever we move on (hoping not any time soon!! I want to enjoy the results of all our work for longer!) as we will be leaving a house in much better shape than we bought it. 

 Sam Beaton 11:50 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> I don't agree with taxing people more who choose to have a bigger house.

I think we need to be fairly taxing assets as well as income. But that's probably straying too far off topic

 montyjohn 12:11 Fri
In reply to Sam Beaton:

It is off topic, but it's interesting. If you have two people with the same amount of money, one chooses to buy experiences, and the other assets, why should the one with assets pay more tax? If those assets rise in value or pay a dividend then fair enough, but just taxing assets seems like a very unfair system.

4
 tehmarks 12:30 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> It is off topic, but it's interesting. If you have two people with the same amount of money, one chooses to buy experiences, and the other assets, why should the one with assets pay more tax?

We already pay tax (VAT) at 20% on "experiences".

 RobAJones 14:34 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> I have a problem with policy that strips away ambition to better your circumstances. 

Me to. 

> It was also very clear from my post that my interpretation of your suggestion was that those that need bigger houses would pay more tax. So not sure why you were surprised by my response.

I think the misunderstanding is a result of responding to one post, that I admit was a bit ambiguous without reading my earlier ones. I argued for change to be in line with the way housing benefit is cut if you have “spare rooms“ As you have children, if we went for a cost neutral change, you would pay less now, but probably pay more when the kids leave home. I had a pretty privileged childhood, but having to share a bedroom with a 5 year old wasn't ideal when preparing for my A levels, other kids are in a far worse situation now. Me and mum paying tax on our wealth will have little/no effect on our lives now. 

> I think the only thing that should be taxed is disposable income offset against reasonable caps to non disposable income. Everything else should be tax free so it's up to us how we spend our money. I can't think of a fairer tax system.

I agree that a simpler tax system is desirable, but we also use tax and benefits to promote certain behaviours. On one hand we have additional tax on tobacco, alcohol and fuel, but we also have child benefit.

It's proving difficult enough as it is to get mum to sell, I and presumably whoever buys her house (wrong place but it would suit you, getting rid of the full size snooker table would make room for a nice gym) would like more reasons for he to rather than hang on to it. 

 RobAJones 14:47 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

I agree with most of that. The  improvements you have made is definitely something else to consider/encourage. Although even then one of my friends upset my neighbour slightly, by pointing out he was pleased his big extention was done when the kids were small as now they rattle around in the house a bit. My neighbour's youngest is doing is  A levels during their building work.

My main concern is that as inherited wealth is becoming more important for younger people and earned wealth less so, I think we will have to change our mindset. Isn't it the case that most billionaires under 30 inherited that wealth? Should they only pay tax if they do some work? With the advent of AI are we in danger of going back to a handful of people having all the wealth and the rest having, to quote Monty "any sense of ambition stripped away' as we are punitively tax on their diminishing earnings. 

 timjones 16:16 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> We don't want to be knocking down small houses in 50 years because people want and expect bigger houses.


What would you do with the current stock of small houses if we continue on the current path of always wanting something bigger or better?l

We need to learn to live more sustainably and it is hard to see how the desire for bigger houses fits within that simple reality.

 Sam Beaton 17:19 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

If you earn more money than someone else you should pay more tax than they do. If you own more stuff than someone else you should pay more tax than they do. Why is that controversial?

1
 montyjohn 17:36 Fri
In reply to Sam Beaton:

So if I buy a wreck of a house, and spend all my weekends trying to make it look nice, I should pay more tax because I did the place up? Why?

Or I use my money to buy a bigger house whilst somebody with the exact same amount of money spends it on let's say (something without VAT), a second hand luxury car private sale which they replace every year. Again I would have to pay more tax because I put money into something sensible.

Like I said earlier, disposable income is the fairest tax and I say it should replace all tax.

 Sam Beaton 17:40 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

My answer to that is if VAT isn't currently payable on a second hand luxury car then it jolly well should be

 RobAJones 18:15 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> So if I buy a wreck of a house, and spend all my weekends trying to make it look nice, I should pay more tax because I did the place up?

At times, when doing that, it did feel a bit  like overtime. You seem quite keen on taxing working people, at double my usual rate, that would have added up considerably over the years. 

 elsewhere 18:38 Fri
In reply to montyjohn:

> Like I said earlier, disposable income is the fairest tax and I say it should replace all tax.

Fairest - what that is is just opinion rather some universal truth we all agree on. As it's just opinion it's not a good argument in favour of something.

Tax is generally applied to income, property and consumption. I expect that's true for successful economies worldwide so we know it works.

Can you give an example of any economy in history (but preferably a successful one) that has implemented "disposable income is the fairest tax and I say it should replace all tax" or are you proposing an untested idea?

Post edited at 18:41
 girlymonkey 18:45 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

As I say, I definitely agree with increasing income tax, particularly amongst higher earners. 

I have long said that probably the income at which you start paying tax should rise, most of us should probably pay an extra 1%ish and then top earners maybe an extra 2%. Obviously, I don't have in dept knowledge of these things, so figures slightly plucked out of thin air, but you get the general idea. 

I agree that inherited wealth is definitely going to widen inequality. And in theory, inheritance tax should help with that, but it seems that it's not quite hitting the mark.

In the grand scheme of things, my inheritance wouldn't be considered to be huge, but it was huge for me. It gave us a very substantial deposit which allowed us to buy with a mortgage. We couldn't have saved for a deposit and paid rent with what we earn. I can't imagine how people with kids and no help from family can ever manage.

Back to the original planning discussion, hopefully the plan from Labour to force substantial amounts of home building will start to reduce prices and make it more manageable. 

Has there been anything about rent caps mentioned? There is absolutely no hope of saving for a deposit with current rent prices. 

 RobAJones 20:34 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

> As I say, I definitely agree with increasing income tax, particularly amongst higher earners. 

OK, but putting aside that both of us would be in favour of an  increased tax burden in return for better services. What I don't fully understand is, if we make you cost neutral so your lifetime tax burden is going to remain the same. Why do you want people who earn more than you, but inherit nothing, to pay more tax, than they do already. On the other side aren't you arguing that people who don't work but inherit loads should pay far less? I'd use housing in the same way, your council tax or whatever will remain the same. Should those in more cramped accommodation pay the same as they are doing now or should they be paying less because those in more spacious accommodation are paying more. In both cases I'd be paying more but the parents of the kids I used to teach would be paying less. It would give all those kids the chance to earn more than you or I did, I'm not sure many will inherit more than you did, although if I taught at a diffent school all the kids would. 

> In the grand scheme of things, my inheritance wouldn't be considered to be huge, but it was huge for me. It gave us a very substantial deposit which allowed us to buy with a mortgage.

I think that show how much things have changed over a few years. For me it was the "board and lodging“ money I paid when working, after graduation with no debt, to my parents. They had actually put it in an account, so that was my deposit. Move on thirty years and as a family for my eldest niece to be in the same position has required a quarter of a million! 

>We couldn't have saved for a deposit and paid rent with what we earn. I can't imagine how people with kids and no help from family can ever manage.

It's frightening I the space of 30 years it's gone from 5k for me to 250k for my niece. As mum's estate is now eligible for IHT it puts her at the bottom end of the wealthiest 5%. That money will skip a couple of generations, but if we carry in with the current trajectory it will be a drop in the ocean for what my nieces  kids need, to have an equally advantageous start in life. To be fair she is well aware of that 

> Back to the original planning discussion, hopefully the plan from Labour to force substantial amounts of home building will start to reduce prices and make it more manageable. 

How do you force private companies to build houses? I think there needs to be some public investment as well, but where does that money come from?

> Has there been anything about rent caps mentioned? There is absolutely no hope of saving for a deposit with current rent prices. 

Increasing taxes on young professionals with student debt isn't going to help. 

 girlymonkey 20:52 Fri
In reply to RobAJones:

> It's frightening I the space of 30 years it's gone from 5k for me to 250k for my niece. As mum's estate is now eligible for IHT it puts her at the bottom end of the wealthiest 5%. That money will skip a couple of generations, but if we carry in with the current trajectory it will be a drop in the ocean for what my nieces  kids need, to have an equally advantageous start in life. To be fair she is well aware of that 

And that is the nub of the problem! I can only presume that if house building had kept up with demand then we wouldn't be in this situation. 

> How do you force private companies to build houses? I think there needs to be some public investment as well, but where does that money come from?

I don't know, but it is what Labour are proposing, and where the OP started, so it will be interesting to see how it works

 RobAJones 21:13 Fri
In reply to girlymonkey:

> And that is the nub of the problem! I can only presume that if house building had kept up with demand then we wouldn't be in this situation. 

That and not funding properly and targeted education/training, although the previous  Labour government were more more generous but not particularly targeted and house building has been a problem since the 50's. 

> I don't know, but it is what Labour are proposing, and where the OP started, so it will be interesting to see how it works

Probably more issues like the OP described, although in the scheme of things that is a minor consideration. I  think it was Baz P who complained about 4k houses built on a greenfield site, when their was a suitable brown field site nearby. The only way I see a private company building 4k affordable houses on that brownfield site involves public money buying them off the developer at full market value and then selling them as affordable properties. Not cheap but I'd regard it as an investment. Perhaps more local powers will help. 


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