Try selling a development to an HA with less than 20 and sometimes 40 homes. They are just not interested, they are also not interested in purchasing developments that mix social and general sale homes. Any development between 10 and 20 homes is in limbo, no one will buy them and the off site contributions / 106 / CIL make them uneconomic to build. Anything 9 and under there is no requirement for affordable homes and if there was no HA would buy them as they are too small to manage.
Any development over 20/40 requires complex intensification of 3 plus site joined, this meets with massive public opposition, we see objections in the hundreds.
Developers and architects get the blame but its the public who are nimby's, the GOV who have disjointed policy, the planners who are stuck in past utopias (scared of upsetting the nimbiy's) and the HA's who refuse to look at the many smaller sites that are offered to them.
Planning policy needs to change to allow suburban intensification (such as in Croydon). More creative solutions are needed for car parking and ownership (as this limits intensification). The public need to be educated that homes are needed and if everyone was a Nimby nothing would get build and 4.5M families and their children will be bought up in temporary accommodation, their children with no happy memories or healthy foundation in life. HA's need to radically re-think how they manage their estates so they can buy smaller sites.
This just shows how woefully lacking architectural education is in preparation for professional life.
This year I visited a final year degree show for the 1st time in many years. Nothing I saw was architecture. Illustration & 3D modelling perhaps.
I have worked with graduates but unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they have not been taught the necessary skills and cost me time as a lot of their work has to be re-done. Its a real shame but many graduates are only employable as 3D modellers.
There is no comprehension of design constraints, budgets, planning requirements, coordination, building control or the importance of client briefs.
Many of the graduates seem disappointed they are not given projects to design. Given the lack of skills they have been given and the litigious nature of architecture this is hardly surprising!
Its a disgrace they are not allowed to visit sites or shadow an architect on site. I shadowed through my part 3 and it was invaluable. This should part of the part 3 programme or else graduates will just become visualisers.
A complete overhaul of the education system is required and quickly! Eastern European graduates know much more than UK graduates so we should be looking at how other countries teach their aspiring next generation of architects.
We are not doing enough for graduates and its a disgrace. Having great ideas is fine but if you don't have the ability to realise them they will come to nothing.
There are plenty of tall buildings to view London from without creating another for no reason other than vanity. The square mile is now a collection of miss matched buildings the scale and mass mostly dictated by the out of date London View Management Framework which should be scraped.
I strongly agree with David Farmery that the Post Office tower already exists and could be re purposed to return it to world class iconic tourist attraction i once was.
This decision is the right one, along with the scrapping of the garden bridge. Anyone who wants to use tens of thousands of tons of concrete to make a park over a river when you can make a park next to the river on existing ground is deluded. Same goes for a stick thin tower with a knob on top.
London is not hitting the 'miserabilist' buffers as Paul Finch suggests, it needs to make mature, sustainable, future proof decisions. its not Disney World!
Since when have councils been the best judge of what is 'beautiful' this is a ridiculous notion! They dictate external materials, roof forms, balcony types, massing etc. Developments have a multitude of constraints to overcome, esp. affordable housing, planning constraints (as above), low budgets, HA requirements, low architectural fees, time constraints on options, neighbour objections, politics, covenants, party walls, site topography, TPO's, I could go on and on and on. This is far more complex then you are making out and highlights the issues architects face when their peers are only able to judge on the appearance of a completed scheme without being aware of any of the other constraints. This country has a massive requirement for new homes and this coupled with expensive land, massive development taxes, low funding availability for HA's and restricted materials (planning and HA build-ability) will always mean there are few options available. Radical review is required if you want 'beauty' restrictions need to be lifted and funding increased!
Why spend all that money on something temporary that will be over budget and run years late. Surely an existing building ,or buildings, could be easily re-purposed. What a waste of public funds.