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CABE audit slams 'mediocre' homes as builders hit back

CABE has hit out at the quality of new-build houses, claiming that four out of five buyers are settling for mediocre properties.

Published on Monday, the results of CABE's biggest ever audit of new developments judged 22 per cent of schemes as 'poor'and 61 per cent as 'average'.

However, the House Builders Federation (HBF) has argued that the report is an unfair assessment of recent developments.

Of the 100 new housing developments investigated by CABE in London, the South East and the East, only 17 per cent achieved a 'good' or 'very good' rating - a score based on both design and sustainability.

The commission points the finger at planners, developers and highway engineers for giving too much prominence to car parking and roads, and for failing to create a sense of place or character.

But Pierre Williams, HBF head of communications, said the report was frustrating:

'CABE knows we have been working hard to improve design standards. But judging design can only be done through public opinion, and those of the people who live in new developments.

This was not done by CABE in its audit.'

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