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Martin Pawley's prefab diatribe is way off beam

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Letters

The desire to build a decent house did not occur just after the Second World War when 800,000 prefabs were built (Pawley, AJ 14.3.02) but after the 1950s, when traditional houses were built in even greater numbers annually than prefabs ever were.

Prefabs were built because they were cheap and quick and anybody could build them. They fitted their time very well, purely as an emergency.

The real thing came later in mainly brick and block, because traditionally people believed they were authentic and it is all about concept and context.

If Pawley thinks the reverse is about to happen, in building enlightened rabbit hutches with Ken Livingstone's tacit support, he is way off beam.

The majority of real town dwellers in the future will not live in Ideal Home Show houses, and while some might, apartments, terraces and above all regeneration of existing buildings into smaller units of accommodation (not as small as 25m 2) is the most likely outcome that can be afforded by teachers, nurses and fire-fighters alike.

It is very convenient of Pawley to equate mass production of cars, boats and planes to houses in 1946-50, but when it was tried later, it wasn't so successful.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth, Hants

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