Though I don't quite understand the relevance of the horse tale, Jonathan Ball's email seems a well balanced response to what appears to have been intemperate earlier comments by Elsie Owusu. Ms. Owusu's response to Mr Ball's email would also appear to have been a similarly considerable over-reaction.
It reminds me of when I was an RIBA councillor a decade or so ago when a fellow councillor took great exception to my use of the well known phrase 'motherhood and apple pie' that I used in the context of some architectural topic I’ve long since forgotten, but I remember her describing it, to my amazement, as ‘sexist’! I believe it’s of American origin, probably used by US soldiers who longed for the good things of life back home, and the lady in question should particularly have been aware of it as she was an RIBA overseas councillor who lived in the USA.
The lady also took offence at another well-known phrase I used, ‘Balkanisation’, again in the context of an architectural issue I’ve since forgotten, describing it as uncaring or war-mongering – I can’t remember precisely which.
These, and Ms. Owusu’s unwarranted reactions are indicative of the egg shells we are all forced to walk on nowadays in our increasingly fractured and un-cohesive society – which is to the detriment of all of us.
It was one of the several practical policies that I advocated in my manifesto for my bid for the RIBA Presidency in 2006.
I fully endorse Robert Franklyn when he says that it should once again enable students and young architects to know how to design and to build, and end the contempt that many builders justifiably have of our profession.
And when all the potential extra floors have been added, whether existing residents want them or not, and cities’ already congested streets and infrastructure has been further overloaded, what next? How is next year's quarter of a million net immigration then going to be accommodated and the following year's quarter of a million after that - ad infinitum?
Crisis management of the housing crisis - a problem largely created by mass immigration over the last 20 years, and in London also the continuing purchase of luxury flats by foreigners as an investment and kept empty - has occasioned the expanding permitted development rules as a supposed solution to the problem. These range from the 8m long back garden extensions (which we were told was just a temporary measure until 2016 but are still in place) to the conversion of office blocks to flats, and now this.
Development control can be frustrating, but in our densely populated country it is essential, so that, amongst other things, there is planned provision of utilities and transport infrastructure, schools and medical facilities etc., to serve the frighteningly ever-increasing population.
More permitted development is not the answer.
Forget all the heritage and and listed buildings excuses, it looks like gross over-development to me - certainly unsuited family living. One must also ask if the 60% of non-affordable flats are going to be high spec, sold to foreigners as investments, and largely left empty? If so, it is THAT issue that needs to be addressed before anything else.
Is this going to be another piece of flawed crisis-management housing legislation - like the right to convert offices to flats without planning permission that many local authorities are now rightly asking Government to repeal? Or the excessive 6/8m deep permitted development garden extensions that were only supposed to be a temporary measure to 2016, to stimulate the construction industry, but which is still in place?
Assuming two-storey extensions on top of the predominant 2-storey housing stock will not be included, the proposed policy will presumably apply to other situations where development control would, and should continue to, assess its suitability.
This seems to be yet another example of Government tinkering to resolve the housing crisis rather addressing the root cause of it.