Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cat swinging is illegal

Another day, another good article on our house building disaster.

Link to off site article here.

An embedded link to a recent Guardian articles is worth following. Another links here.

In Newcastle and Gateshead the office block conversions are likely to be for student accommodation. An extraordinary wave of student housing continues unabated. A friend said she thought that 'when the (student housing) bubble bursts' these places could be re-used for housing non students. This I very much doubt from watching several being built. Whatever, they would be quite dreadful for family life. But then, this boom and the associated Green Belt snatch is all about making money not housing for the future.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yes, but are there big drinks in it for builders?

An article on new build in places where people live now. Link (off site)

New build in Sheffield. (Photograph: The Guardian)

Timely. Or would have been for Newcastle's vanishing Green Belt. Housing such as the above and other examples from the article demonstrate the logic of building close to existing transport links, health, education and retail facilities. The logic driving the housing on Newcastle's Green Belt is one of profit. 

The result will be more atrocities like Blue House 'roundabout' the gigantic motorway interchange that is the direct consequence of housing developments on the Gosforth–Ponteland axis.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stuffed

A well known expression in football when your team loses easily is "Well stuffed". Newcastle's Green Belt has by this measure been "well and truly stuffed".

Planing permission for a huge new town has been given the er, green light, the B.B.C. reports tonight here. (Off site link.)



This won't be just an ordinary land grab though; according to the developer's it's an entirely new community. From this artists impression, a bit like how Disney thinks England should look.

Not Ponteland – Fairyland!

Note full grown trees. This must be sometime around 2075 ...

Someone mentioned brownfield sites awaiting development. They just don't get it do they? How are the movers behind this scheme expected to live in Monaco on the kind of returns 'affordable housing' brings in? (The "It wasn't possible to achieve our target for affordable homes after unexpected additional costs were incurred on this site" i.e. flood protection, excuse will be along soon.)

Well at least today's youngsters unable to afford even affordable homes in localities such as this will be able to look back and say "I remember when it was all fields around here".

Friday, March 10, 2017

Back to back to backs

Apropos recent posts, this video on B.B.C. News surfaced today: Link (off site)

It's only taken a disgraceful housing crisis to demonstrate what others have been urging for decades; good quality mass housing.

Once our large cities had whole areas that comprised 'back-to-back' terraced housing. These were solidly built though not without problems. Thousands were demolished and replaced with tower blocks (and incidentally the enforced transport of many long established traditional communities). In many instances these quickly became vectors of crime and dysfunction. These schemes also awarded themselves prizes and commendations from architects and planners who ensured they never lived in such places.

Building on the Green Belt is both transgressive and unsustainable. It increases environmental costs in transport and provision of services. In Newcastle it is impacting on settled communities as road links have to be ungraded to match the expected flows. The chosen areas of Green Belt have already had a disastrous effect on the natural environment and have yet to 'get into their stride'. These chosen areas are along the least appropriate axis for this city, depending for access on the choke point of Gosforth. It remains to be seen how this spectacular planning mistake can be reconciled.

Meanwhile, large tracts of under used or redundant land along the east west Tyne axis is crying out for investment. This 'development strip' contains existing mature patterns of communication – bus and light rail, contains numerous schools and access to healthcare facilities.

What housing development here does not promise is the quick profit of monetising a publicly created asset for private gain.


Havannah Nature Reserve Red Squirrel. Havannah is under threat from developers.

Link to Havannah online petition here (off site link)