D Tel: Brown's housing plan 'will devastate country'


S

Sufaud

Brown's housing plan 'will devastate country'
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

Daily Telegraph
(Filed: 01/06/2004)


Gordon Brown's plans to build more than a million homes in England to
halt the rise in house prices would have devastating environmental
consequences, including a loss of greenfield land equivalent to half
of Greater London, says an unpublished Government report.


The building programme proposed in a Treasury report would also ruin
Tony Blair's plans to tackle climate change by increasing carbon
dioxide emissions from domestic buildings by a fifth.

Researchers commissioned by the Department for the Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs were asked to look into the environmental
implications of the report for the Treasury by Kate Barker, a member
of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.

She recommended building 1.4 million extra homes over the next 10
years - double the present building rate.

The Defra report found the environmental impact of the take-up of land
alone would be "significant and severe" when compared with the current
building rate. It priced the total environmental damage to Britain by
2016 at between £5 billion and £8.4 billion.

While Miss Barker's report was launched by the Government with a
fanfare on Budget day and its findings accepted by the Chancellor a
few hours later, the report into the environmental consequences
languishes on a website, known only to officials, though it was
submitted to the Government last month.

Critics will say this is because the report makes uncomfortable
reading for senior ministers, most of all for John Prescott.

His plans for "sustainable communities" are shown to be far from
sustainable and to conflict with the Kyoto climate change treaty,
which he is proud of helping to negotiate.

The report, by three groups of consultants, Entec, Hodkinson and
Eftec, looked at the land take, energy use, waste and water resources
required to build 1.4 million homes above current planning guidance in
England.

They found that this would have a number of serious consequences:
An area of 192,000 acres of greenfield land would be needed, above the
amount of brownfield land built upon. This is equivalent to 10 times
the size of Leicester, half the size of Buckinghamshire or half the
size of Greater London.

The new buildings would increase carbon dioxide emission from the
domestic sector by almost 20 per cent by 2016.

The report attempts to put a monetary value on all the environmental
benefits lost as a result of the construction plans. These include
things such as damage to coral reefs from global warming to the loss
of amenity sites in the south of England.

The cost of building all the homes Miss Barker recommends is
calculated at up to £8.4 billion.

Domestic waste disposal would increase by almost 40 per cent, at a
cost of £1.1 billion.

An additional 11 billion gallons of water would be required, meaning
new reservoirs and regulations for reduced-flush lavatories, flow
regulator taps and smaller baths. There would also be a 10 per cent
increase in the amount of sand, gravel and stone quarried by 2016.

The authors say the only way to reduce the impact would be to build at
higher densities and to use the most environmentally friendly
standards of building.

The Government's failure to publish the report has caused concern
among members of the Commons environmental audit select committee, who
are engaged in a review of the Barker report.

Peter Ainsworth, the committee's Tory chairman, said: "We did not know
about it. We discovered it by accident. We are very surprised it was
slipped on to the website without any fanfare.

"The increase in carbon dioxide emissions is huge and worrying. Barker
seems to have excluded any consideration of environmental impact which
is what will be of most importance to people."

He said the failure to look at the environmental consequences of the
Treasury's plans showed the folly of taking the planning system away
from the department responsible for the environment.

Henry Oliver, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: "The
important thing is someone has finally looked at the environmental
implications of Kate Barker's report - and it looks pretty scary.

"If there was ever a reason for saying 'hold on, let's look at this
again', this is it."

A Defra spokesman called the report "a valuable contribution to
inter-departmental discussion."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;sessionid=A4HNB4UZZM3NJQFIQMFSM5WAVCBQ0JVC?xml=/news/2004/06/01/nhome01.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/01/ixhome.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=53611
 
T

Tumbleweed

Fred said:
<Snip>

If it means the likes of me can afford somewhere of my own to live then so
be damned. I am tired of those who already have country mansions whinging
about this sort of thing.
Thats enough of that uppity commie talk, you can live in my tied cottage
(well, more of a garden shed) for a reasonable rent, and keep my lawn mowed
as payment.
 
C

criticaldensity

Thats enough of that uppity commie talk, you can live in my tied cottage
(well, more of a garden shed) for a reasonable rent, and keep my lawn mowed
as payment.
Sound cheaper and more spacious than my flat :-(

cd
 
D

Daytona

If it means the likes of me can afford somewhere of my own to live then so
be damned. I am tired of those who already have country mansions whinging
about this sort of thing.
Same here, and I'm a homeowner.

This is a great way of improving the majority of peoples standard of
living. The amount of money wasted in paying for inflated housing is
astronomical and dominates the economy. Governments may think that
they control the economy - they don't. The distortions created by the
housing shortage controls the economy.

Daytona
 
T

Tumbleweed

criticaldensity said:
Sound cheaper and more spacious than my flat :-(

cd
Do you like large spiders? You'll have to evict those first, there is no way
I will!
 
C

criticaldensity

Do you like large spiders? You'll have to evict those first, there is no way
I will!
I already have large spiders. There was one so large the other day I
heard it walking towards me. Really.

cd
 
J

J L Williams

The message <pan.2004.06.02.09.05.43.406653@removethishotmail.com>
I already have large spiders. There was one so large the other day I
heard it walking towards me. Really.
Spiderman in his outdoor boots?
Jim
 
H

half_pint

Anyone with half a brain can see these figures are utter wank.
How can 5% more homes result in 40% more waste?

All the rest is a pile of bollocks topped with bullshit too.

I cannot believe someone is being paid to produce such utter
crap.

I can just about believe the Daily Smellygraph would publish it
as fact.

The people who produced it should be flogged and hung, and thier
famillys made to pay for the rope, charged at 8 times its retail
value of course :O|
 
H

half_pint

Fred said:
<Snip>

If it means the likes of me can afford somewhere of my own to live then so
be damned. I am tired of those who already have country mansions whinging
about this sort of thing.
Also a close look (or even a glance) at the figures on waste pollution
shows them
to be utterly unbelievable.
 
S

Steve Firth

Fred said:
If it means the likes of me can afford somewhere of my own to live then so
be damned.
Or you could go out and create the wealth so that you can afford a
decent place. Instead of moaning, that is.
 
S

Steve Firth

Fred said:
At the end of the day with an insufficient stock of houses to go round the
only winners are the land owners who get permission to build. Are you one
of those?
Umm no, you're not thinking that through. The real winners are actually
those with large mortgages. They make money out of almost nothing,
provided they play the market properly. I don't see anyone's interests
beign served by a few million more cheap and tacky "estates" for
repmobile man.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that this policy will represent cheap
housing for the masses. You can see it in action already. It's places
like the new town at Micheldever - turning a halfway decent village into
a commuter hell-hole. Or the steady infilling of the South Coast to turn
a heritage coastline into Billy Gibson's Sprawl.

Mostly these developers don't provide for anyone other than the middle
income two kids crowd. Their developments don't have shops, restaurants
or pubs. If they *do* create any of the preceding they make damn sure
that they are plastic wastelands. the houses are cheap build, sold at
high prices to the prats who think they are gettign "an investment" when
in fact they are buying into being stigmatised.

If you can't afford a house where you are, there's always the Norman
Tebbit option. Plenty of cheap houses around the country, move
elsewhere. Or do what many of the rest of us had to do, buy a "fixer
upper".

And you *were* whinging BTW.
 
C

curiosity

I am not sure who this is being addressed to? Is to the moaners/whingers I
mentioned or to my support of Gordon Brown. It's not often I support him
but this issue is different. How is that moaning?

FWIW I am struggling to make ends meet and save money so I can afford a
house at some time in the future. The lower the prices the earlier I can
buy.

At the end of the day with an insufficient stock of houses to go round the
only winners are the land owners who get permission to build. Are you one
of those?
He'll probably be what he describes as a 'wealth creator'. With what passes for
creativity today that could be anything from an inventive entrepreneur lending
his ingenuity to profitable and socially beneficial production and employment to
someone who - armed with substantial equity arising from home ownership
(probably as much a surprise to him as anyone else) - has gone out and raised a
bigger loan on property he can rent out while farting through silk. I'm happy
to raise a glass to anyone's good fortune but I think it's going a bit far to
equate gambling with any of the central ambitions of the capitalist
dream....unless of course modern capitalism is a dream based more or less purely
on gambling and it's about to be shattered (not for the first time).
 
C

curiosity

Same here, and I'm a homeowner.

This is a great way of improving the majority of peoples standard of
living.
Do you mean that rising house prices alone are a great way of improving etc.?
If so, then do you not see any downside? I'm thinking here not of the
disenfranchised homeless but of the economic backlash that is quite likely to
arise from it.
 
D

Daytona

Do you mean that rising house prices alone are a great way of improving etc.?
No. I was agreeing with the attitude 'environmental consequences be
damned', because I view it as a serious problem both for the economy
and society.

Daytona
 
H

half_pint

Steve Firth said:
Umm no, you're not thinking that through. The real winners are actually
those with large mortgages. They make money out of almost nothing,
provided they play the market properly. I don't see anyone's interests
beign served by a few million more cheap and tacky "estates" for
repmobile man.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that this policy will represent cheap
housing for the masses. You can see it in action already. It's places
like the new town at Micheldever - turning a halfway decent village into
a commuter hell-hole. Or the steady infilling of the South Coast to turn
a heritage coastline into Billy Gibson's Sprawl.

Mostly these developers don't provide for anyone other than the middle
income two kids crowd. Their developments don't have shops, restaurants
or pubs. If they *do* create any of the preceding they make damn sure
that they are plastic wastelands. the houses are cheap build, sold at
high prices to the prats who think they are gettign "an investment" when
in fact they are buying into being stigmatised.

If you can't afford a house where you are, there's always the Norman
Tebbit option. Plenty of cheap houses around the country, move
elsewhere. Or do what many of the rest of us had to do, buy a "fixer
upper".

And you *were* whinging BTW.
You really are a cretin aren't you.
Hover you ever stopped to consider how stupid you are?
 

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