More shops at Hayle – why?

In another shocking indictment of the planning system, Cornwall Council last week gave permission to Cranford Developments of Staffordshire to build shops at Marsh Lane, Hayle. Described by the planners as a ‘largely undeveloped albeit previously disturbed in places area of scrub vegetation’, this is also a designated wildlife site. No matter. Ten more shops and car parks ‘outweigh the adverse impacts’. In fact, there is a ‘potential to deliver a significant biodiversity gain’. While more shops are supposed to stop Hayle folk shopping on the internet! Spurious nonsense.

https://www.facebook.com/itsourcornwall/

Two comments – how can a designated wildlife site not be affected by the development of shops and car parks?

As for reducing shopping on the internet by building more shops – that is complete nonsense! In fact planners should be encouraging more people to shop online rather than travel – think sustainability!

More shops on the outskirts of Hayle will encourage more traffic along the A30 – more congestion!

Can we solve the London housing crisis? Yes we can!

There are many things that will make it difficult for Khan to solve London’s housing crisis. The relatively limited powers of his office, compared to his peers in New York or Paris. The shortage of brownfield, distrust of high-rise and complete absence of political appetite to extend London’s boundaries, which, combined, mean a crippling lack of land to build on.

But perhaps the biggest challenge facing Khan is the sheer scale of the problem. London’s population is growing by roughly 100,000 a year. In his four years as mayor, London will grow by approximately the size of Bristol. Short of knocking down whole districts of the capital and rebuilding them, higher, it’s not clear how anyone can solve this problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/20/fix-london-housing-crisis-north-economy-parliament

The main problem facing Sadiq Khan in dealing with the London housing crisis is a complete failure to accept that London cannot keep growing its population by sucking in people from the rest of the UK or the world. This is a failure which is common across the political spectrum.

Policy makers need to wake up, reject their current view that ‘population growth is good’ and adopt policies to limit and if they want a real sustainable future, reduce London’s population.

That means dumping the neo-liberal obsession with the free and unfettered flow of population. If not the housing crisis will continue!

Population growth is a problem for the UK as well as for Cornwall!

Despite strong population growth and rapid price increases, the UK is building little more than half as many houses as in the 1970s.

Brexit will make Britain’s mediocre economic record worse, Bulletin article, Simon Tilford, 19 September 2016.

https://www.cer.org.uk/publications/archive/bulletin-article/2016/brexit-will-make-britains-mediocre-economic-record-worse

There is an obsession with population growth across all political parties (including the Greens) and the commentariat. We are not too sure why. It seems a bizarre obsession when in theory we now know about finite resources and the finite capacity to accommodate increasing carbon output without endangering our future existence.

Those obsessed with population growth are apparently unaware of climate change. They are also oblivious to the fact that if you allow (in fact encourage) population growth it has an effect on housing. More people result in more demand for housing.

The answer is always to find ways of building more houses, the old and incorrect view that ‘planning needs to be freed up’. There is a failure to recognise the impact of population growth and to address it. Population growth rather like economic growth is regarded as something sacred, something that not only just happens but is always good for us!

Its time to get real, to live in the real world instead of planet fantasy!

13,050 construction workers to build 14,300 houses – really?

The Housing and Environment PAC report of 21st September talks of an additional 13,050 jobs related to building 14,300 new houses. Thats a lot of jobs, sounds impressive. But we think the figure should be 2,370.

Why you may ask?

According to the National Housing Federation each building worker can build 1.1 houses per annum. 13,050 multiplied by 1.1 gives us 14,300.

But 14,300 houses spread over 5.5 years = 2,600 per annum or 2,370 workers. Each year the same workers build 2,600 houses. Over the 5.5 years the number of workers stays the same at 2,370!

Go figure!

Construction jobs boom ahoy!

The Housing and Environment PAC report of 21st September talks of an additional 13,050 jobs related to building 14,300 new houses. Thats a lot of jobs, sounds impressive. But we think the figure should be 2,370.

Why you may ask?

According to the National Housing Federation each building worker can build 1.1 houses per annum. 13,050 multiplied by 1.1 gives us 14,300.

But 14,300 houses spread over 5.5 years = 2,600 per annum or 2,370 workers. Each year the same workers build 2,600 houses. Over the 5.5 years the number of workers stays the same at 2,370!

Go figure!

13,050 or 2,370 jobs?

The Housing and Environment PAC report being discussed today talks of an additional 13,050 jobs related to building 14,300 new houses. Thats a lot of jobs, sounds impressive. But we think the figure should be 2,370.

Why you may ask?

According to the National Housing Federation each building worker can build 1.1 houses per annum. 13,050 multiplied by 1.1 gives us 14,300.

But 14,300 houses spread over 5.5 years = 2,600 per annum or 2,370 workers. Each year the same workers build 2,600 houses. Over the 5.5 years the number of workers stays the same at 2,370!

Go figure!

No, we don’t need 28,000 new houses!

On 21st September the Housing and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) will look at the Housing element of the Devolution Deal.

Various reasons are put forward to support building more houses. One of these is: “High housing need with 28,000 on the waiting list”

People may think that if there are 28,000 on the waiting list we need to build 28,000 houses.

Not quite. For a start it should not be referred to as a waiting list. Its correct name is the Homechoice Register (HCR) which gives a better clue as to its purpose for it not only includes people in need of a new home but those who would for various reasons like to live somewhere else.

Analysis of data suggests that many people on the HCR actually are living in a property. When they move that property will be freed up for someone else to live in. This was a point picked up on in the Strategic Housing Market Strategy, where they decided to exclude people on the HCR who were in social housing for this very reason. We consider the same rationale should apply to private housing as well.

To deal with some aspects of need in this context may require funding to upgrade or adapt buildings, financial support for example as distinct from building new houses.

We estimate that the maximum number of those requiring a new property to be about 20% of the total on the HCR list.

Another question is why have the HCR figures for Cornwall not been revised as they have for many local authorities? Elsewhere numbers have been reduced after revision.