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Raising densities means lower value for money

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If Russ Randall (AJ 4.10.01) had actually bothered to read Circular 36/67, 'Housing Standards, Costs and Subsidies', he would know that nowhere in it is provision made for 'increased allowances. . . for adoption of system-building'. Nor were increased costs allowable for schemes at higher densities directed at promoting these, any more than the different costs allowed for various parts of the country were aimed at steering development to particular areas.

They merely reflected the reality of construction costs.

In fact, the circular specifically warned that building to higher densities brought diminishing returns in terms of value for money: 'Two-storey houses are in general the least costly form of building and are preferred by most tenants; they are also less costly to manage and maintain than multi-storey flats.' And as for Mr Randall's reference to 'erosion of space standards' and 'reduction of storage provision', perhaps he would like to explain how these could result from making Parker-Morris standards for both space and storage provision mandatory upon local authorities for the first time.

Stephen Mullin, London WC1

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