Posted by: Adam Roake | April 10, 2009


I like Wayne Hemingway mouthing off because he’s usually got a point and he’s passionate about good design. But I was disappointed with this offering in the Independent. I agree we shouldn’t rush to “save the house-builders” but it looks like most of them are going to survive anyway and soon enough they’ll start building again in much the same way as they always have – with focus on driving down costs and little if any regard for design quality. What’s the solution Wayne?

a simple process that can be brought in overnight – competition.”

He seems to be saying that if only the Homes and Communities Agency would sell government owned land in small lots it will all be alright because there would be competition – as if there hasn’t been competition ever before.

Is there no competition to the Bridge for example, Wayne’s flagship scheme with George Wimpey? Surely prospective purchasers will also look at any of the other myriad new build schemes in the area?

And what about Building for Life? I know it’s another “tick box” but it’s a little bit broader than the Code for Sustainable Homes. It aims to cover housing design in its broadest sense, it is now central government’s principal design standard and in theory all planning applications should be assessed against its 20 criteria. Oh and who is its chairman – Wayne of course.

Come on Wayne if you believe in Building for Life, why don’t you shout about it and shout at government to make it a mandatory part of the planning system? Perhaps then we might get high quality design in all new housing.


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