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Take a stand. Join the AJ’s campaign for More Homes, Better Homes

Design quality is coming under threat from the government’s proposals to tear up the Building Regulations. It’s time to make our voices heard

The AJ is launching More Homes, Better Homes – a campaign calling for the urgent construction of well-designed, quality homes.

As the government indiscriminately slashes building regulations and planning red tape in a frantic attempt to kickstart the development of homes, it’s time to take a stand and ensure that design quality is enshrined in regulations and that clarity returns to the planning system.

More Homes, Better Homes will push for growth in house building without undermining the quality, sustainability and safety of our homes.

In the coming weeks, under the More Homes, Better Homes banner the AJ will report on the housing crisis with commentary from key figures alongside detailed analysis and data. Next week, the AJ will publish two building studies featuring recently completed exemplar social housing schemes.

The AJ’s campaign will culminate in the publication of a manifesto, setting out what building and planning regulations must be maintained in order to safeguard good design and what can be done to increase the number of homes under construction.

The quality of housing has improved over the past decade. We can’t let the urgent drive to build more homes erode the quality of the places in which we live.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • How about an amendment to the Building Societies Act to allow State backing. Creating nationalised government building societies it would be easy to trial as we already own a number of institutions including Northern Rock.

    The French have already begun to do this and are far ahead of the UK with progressive policies:

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/france-set-state-backed-investment-bank

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  • There are enough empty buildings, probably a lot of them owned by government, why don't we turn these into homes instead of building more? 'Growth' is by nature unsustainable, and unfortunately for the majority in the built environment so is a new building. I agree completely with the motivation to stop design quality being eroded but I hope some thought can be put towards alternative methods of creating homes in a sustainable world. Levitt Bernstein’s house-in-a-garage is a good precedent!

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  • John Kellett

    Just to play 'devil's advocate': do we actually need more homes? Perhaps we need less people :-)

    "Better Homes" is a no brainer. But not necessarily "More Homes", there are plenty of empty and convertible buildings already looking for a use. There are also plenty of dysfunctional existing homes that need to be replaced, often the, too small, new ones :-)

    Perhaps buyers aren't buying the housebuilder's output for the simple reason that they are too small to live in.

    There isn't really a 'shortage' of housing just a shortage in the South East where companies have, for years, been 'encouraged' to move, by central and local government policies!

    Altering those policies to encourage businesses to relocate to where the under employed UK workforce already lives would be more cost effective in reducing the housing 'crisis' in terms of numbers. It would also save billions in terms of 'benefits' and commuting costs.

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