When affordable housing policies were first introduced in London by Ken Livingstone back in the early 00s it was apparent to anyone trying to buy sites for residential development that land value would have to take the brunt of the decrease in value arising. It was also apparent to anyone who did the sums (and we did) that to require developments of anything under at least 30 homes to include a substantial percentage of 'affordable' homes would require the site vendor to either accept a big reduction in price, or the scheme would simply not proceed. They wouldn't and many schemes languished. We wrote to Livingstone and Nicky Gavron as a response to policy consultation pointing all this out. No reply.
It seems Adrian James Architects - and many other developers and architects - are still struggling with the negative impact that demagogic affordable housing policies are having. They retard and limit the delivery of most types of housing and discourage development.
Sure it looks good if local politicians can spout cant about forcing evil developers to cough up for affordable housing in their scheme, but those policies - like the current Mayor's target of 50% affordable homes in every scheme - will never, ever deliver the affordable housing we need. They are demagogic because they sound good, but in reality don't deliver.
If local authorities want to see more housing 'delivered', and to remove distrust arising from undeliverable targets, they should seriously examine the efficacy of their affordable housing policies. And for a start, that baseline of 10 units needs to be raised to a more reasonable level to restore small developer/builder activity.
It is an entirely admirable planning ideal to have mixed communities. It is entirely unacceptable, however, not to have enough housing of all types. And that situation has only got worse since the introduction of swingeing taxation through planning policies that hits small developments hardest.
It doesn't surprise me neither Property Week or Estates Gazette paid much attention to a council housing Stirling Prize winner, despite the exceptional nature of that deserved win. Nor should it surprise anyone that housebuilder goliaths fail to re-tweet the good news. The RIBA needs to thaw relations with housebuilders and developers and quit berating them if it wants to influence their thinking. A diplomatic warm embrace is required after a Cold War lasting decades, affirming a view of the architectural profession as "arrogant" - which is clearly not the case when it comes to practices like Mikhail Riches, and many others. When it takes more than 10 years to get one street built, there are clearly also many more fundamental issues that need addressing. Less stick, more carrot.
Best bit of evidence-based architectural business advice I've read Hari. 'Think before you enter' might be a new motto for the profession - rather than Dr Johnson's aphorism 'the triumph of hope over experience'...
..er, sorry, Ferrari 250 GTO.
A very nice house, but the client's going to need a garage for that Lamborghini Muira.