More houses = more cars – common sense!

More houses with more people lead to more cars – its pretty obvious really!

Bernard Deacon @bernarddeacon

According to ‘regional’ BBC plans for a new town in mid-Devon will mean more houses, which ‘means more people and more cars’. Strangely some cllrs and planners in Cornwall insist there’s no link between houses/people and cars. Mysterious Cornwall.


Climate change: World heading for warmest decade, says Met Office

And what will policy makers do? Probably not a lot.

The world is in the middle of what is likely to be the warmest 10 years since records began in 1850, says the Met Office. It’s forecasting that temperatures for each of the next five years are likely to be at or above 1C compared to pre-industrial levels. There’s also a small chance that one of the next five years will see global temperatures temporarily go above 1.5C. That’s seen as a critical threshold for climate change. If the data matches the forecast, then the decade from 2014-2023 will be the warmest in more than 150 years of record keeping.

Other researchers in the field said the new forecast for the next five years was in line with expectations, given the record level of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere in 2018. “The forecast from the Met Office is, unfortunately, no surprise,” said Dr Anna Jones, an atmospheric chemist at the British Antarctic Survey. “Temperatures averaged across the globe are at a record all-time high, and have been for a number of years. They are driven predominantly by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that result from our continued use of fossil fuels.
“Until we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect to see upward trends in global averaged temperatures.”

Who should pay for infrastructure for new housing?

An important issue relating to housing provision is who should pay for the infrastructure associated with new housing. Infrastructure as in roads, sewerage system, schools, and other facilities.

Should it be the developer?

The local authority/community?

The new residents who have created the demand for housing?

It could be argued that if housing demand is going up due to population growth because people want to move to Cornwall, then the people creating that demand should pay – it is after all that group who want the facilities!

Housing tenure in Cornwall – a further analysis

It is quite tricky working out statistics on housing tenure in Cornwall. There are a number of sources, using different ways of producing figures. The years do not always tally.

This analysis uses data from 2017 (Owner-occupier and private rented), together with social housing and second homes all 2018 data.

What sort of picture do we get?

Total houses 272,000
Of which:
Social housing = 27,600
Private rented = 53,000
Owner occupied (with residents) = 188,500
Second homes = 13,500

This suggests a figure of 255,600 houses used for housing purposes but there is a problem with the figure.
Total households were estimated at 243,000 in 2018.
There is a discrepancy of 12,600 between households and estimated occupied houses.
However, adding the second home figure to the discrepancy gives a total of 26,100 which is lower than but in line with the 29,000 Household spaces with no usual residents enumerated in the 2011 census!


Housing tenure in Cornwall

The Office for National Statistics have recently released estimates of the number of owner-occupied and private rented dwellings in Cornwall. These are estimates and the actual figures could be above or below those stated.

What do they tell us?
The figures show that the total number of dwellings (excluding social housing), was 231,400 in 2012, of which 46,339 (20.9%) were privately rented. By 2017 the total had risen to 241,550 (up by 4.4%). Of these, 53,020 (21.9%) were private rented.

We have more houses – so much for the assertion we are not building many! And the share taken by the private rented sector has grown. What this shows is that the composition of tenure has changed, which is in line with expectations. It is not that people are not housed but that some who would like to own cannot.

What we don’t know is how many of the owner- occupied houses actually house residents – or do we?

Research Outputs: Subnational dwelling stock by tenure estimates, England, 2012 to 2017. This research investigates the use of data from the Annual Population Survey (APS) and occupancy rates from the English Housing Survey (EHS) to estimate the number of dwellings by tenure for different geographies in England.

More houses than households – what about concealed households?

One argument used by the ‘we must build more houses’ tendency is that although there might be more houses than households, household numbers are artificially deflated by the existence of ‘concealed’ households. The argument goes that the number of ‘concealed’ households has risen due to a shortage of housing/rising housing costs.

Ian Mulheirn refutes this approach, arguing instead that the rise in ‘concealed’ households is due to special factors namely the recent increase in immigration, particularly of single people. The share of ‘concealed’ households headed by UK born residents has actually remained stable over the last 20 years.

Liam Halligan is always a man you’d want to have on your side in a debate. Unfortunately on housing he disagrees with me. He focuses instead on what increasingly seems to be the only piece of circumstantial evidence that housing shortage proponents have left to point to: the evidence of increasing numbers of ‘hidden’ households.

Also referred to as ‘concealed’ or ‘multi-family’ households, these are households containing more than one family unit. While there are many possible reasons why two family units might choose to share a house, one of those is that housing costs could be forcing them to share when they would otherwise live separately.

So it seems that the concealed households argument for a shortage of houses — always somewhat tenuous because of its many possible causes — is actually an artefact of recent immigration. There is no evidence, on this simple analysis at least, to suggest that anything has changed for the UK-born population. We don’t know why these families share households and there are no doubt many different reasons. Nor do higher rates of sharing among migrants mean that everything is fine. But what this compositional explanation does imply is that housing supply isn’t the cause of the growth in concealed households.

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A new cycle path and open spaces – what a con!

How to badge bad news as a good news story:
– you build 94 houses (of which the majority will be unaffordable
– but give money for a cycle path (which will not be used by the new residents who will drive cars to get around
– ah but the open space- err what was it before then?
– and a small amount for the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation – meaning what?

We build more houses and not for local need but which will make Cornwall less sustainable and pretend its all good!

A housing developer is to spend £88,000 towards improving facilities in Falmouth as work gets underway on a new development of 94 homes.

As part of its planning agreement to build off Bickland Water Road, Taylor Wimpey is to pay out £73,000 in creating a shared cycle path and pedestrian route running alongside the main road adjacent to the housing site.

A further £15,000 is being set aside for the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation, just over a mile away from the development.

The contribution will go towards the management of the area, with the company saying it “will help address and mitigate any impacts of additional recreational use that the homes create.”

Developers will also create new public open spaces within the Chy An Dowr development, as well as a sustainable drainage system designed to make sure rainwater travels into the local drainage network without affecting homes and businesses.

Work on the development has already begun. Of the 94 new homes, 33 will be classed as affordable. These will be split as 70 per cent available to rent and 30 per cent sold as shared ownership.