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Self-build pioneer Brian Richardson dies, aged 80

Pioneering architect and self-build advocate Brian Richardson has died peacefully aged 80 at his home in the Wye Valley.

Richardson, a lifelong pacifist, vegetarian and champion of travellers, made his mark as an assistant borough architect at Lewisham Council in the 1970s and early 80s.

He led a team which pioneered the council's policy of building family houses with gardens instead of the concrete tower blocks then favoured by the government.

Through his friendship with architect and self-build pioneer Walter Segal, Richardson saw the potential of self-build as part of social housing and inspired key councillors to back experiments in it.

After retirement, Richardson became chair of the Walter Segal Self-Build Trust and co-authored The Self-Build Book with Jon Broome.

To read an obituary of Brian Richardson written by his friend Jon Broome, visit

by Max Thompson

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