June 17th, 2013
Mobilising London’s Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850
27-28 June 2013
The Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Registration is now open for the above conference.
June 11th, 2013
The many recent hosting changes of this blog have led to the link displayed in the address bar changing and I am aware from the stats that this has caused your bookmarks to fail in some instances, for which I can only apologise.
May 8th, 2013
Always happy to follow policy, architects with an interest in sustainability are today proposing eco-back-to-backs as “affordable” housing. The housing form that John Burns opposed is re-imagined as the future for subsidised housing, crammed into expensive brownfield sites. (15) These homes will get planning permission. Architects will happily delude themselves that they are designing a double-density world devoted to an age of “eco-equality”. – Audacity
The AJ from November 2012 brought unwelcome news of yet more modern back to backs passed for planning, this time in Manchester. A strong residents association in Hammersmith and Fulham successfully fought off a similar scheme by Peter Barber in the last couple of years at 282/292 Goldhawk Road but sadly a smaller version will be built in North Kensington and unless a similar group exists in Manchester these C19th dwellings will be built as designed.
May 2nd, 2013
The lack of maintenance I identified here a walk around Maiden Lane nearly three years ago is at last being addressed.
Despite my fears about its not being listed Maiden Lane not listed something of a C21st compromise has been achieved short of complete demolition and sale to a developer, but rather partial redevelopment on the Eastern side to generate the funds required to maintain the remainder.
April 9th, 2013
The Observer Files This week in 1990
“Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.” Mrs Thatcher’s exit from the political stage was no less heroic, and only slightly less bloody, than the Thane of Cawdor’s execution. Like some great jungle beast, wounded but still magnificent, she had to be stopped in her tracks before she caused irreparable damage to her party and the country.
Her legacy is bleak. This is the true measure of the Thatcher decade. She made the whole world feel that she had halted the historic spiral of British decline, but the facts are there to disprove it. Our manufacturing base is seriously eroded; inflation, unemployment and interest rates remain high; the balance of payments has rocketed despite the God-given benefits of North Sea oil. She helped the better off to help themselves while running down the standards of health and education provided for the majority. She created a social divisiveness that stretched the nation’s fabric to breaking point. All this has relevance to the debate over the succession, because it highlights the need, not to “build on Thatcherism”, but to break away from its excesses.
“I was shocked. I was expecting her to look cold and steely but she looked vulnerable and depressed, rather sad.”
An unnamed cabinet minister describes the scene of Thatcher’s resignation..
Larry Elliot wrote an excellent article in the Guardian in 2004 about the effect the Thatcher government had on the economy and I have linked it here:-
March 7th, 2013
The Guardian published a selection of results from the General Household Survey and the graph below caught my eye showing as it does the fall in council housing occupancy over 40 years.
March 5th, 2013
I compiled this list of quotes from Nicky Gavron and others eighteen months ago but with Heygate in flux and WKGG still in contention I think it bears repetition just to remind ourselves that mixed communities are often nothing of the sort and simply an excuse for removing those on the lowest incomes from areas of valuable land.
February 28th, 2013
The real question when considering how the London estates should be “regenerated” if that’s the word (it used to be) is how this ought to be funded and on whose behalf. There was a time when the borough or shire would employ their own architects, quantity surveyors, civil engineers, clerk of works and direct labour force and just get on with it. Those days may have gone in most cases but we need them back.
January 23rd, 2013
UPDATE: 20/2/13 Here’s a better version of the graph -> RICS_graph
This graph is topical at the moment, Social Housing Watch have published a timeline of the history of social housing and although not included, this graph, first published two years ago by RICS, is relevant since it shows the end of local authority council house building in the early 1990s.
January 7th, 2013
“It’s actually a kitchen by itself” exclaimed the delightful Krystle as she stood in the 1000 sq ft Forest Hill ground floor flat and looked around her at the space.
“We could put a table in here” said Sam thus proving once again, if it needs proving, that separate kitchens with space for a table are a practical necessity welcomed by buyers and shouldn’t be a sought after luxury omitted by greedy developers unwilling to build walls in modern flats.