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Peter Phillips

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Comments (27)

  • Comment on: ‘We’re not in a competition here’: Industry urged to rally over climate design guide

    Peter Phillips's comment 28 January, 2020 11:17 am

    Before getting locked into some very questionable objectives, I suggest fellow architects watch the following 30-minute presentation (in its entirety) by Professor Ian Plimer, a geologist at Melbourne University:

  • Comment on: Most new housing so poorly designed it should not have been built, says Bartlett report

    Peter Phillips's comment 26 January, 2020 4:10 pm

    Just because a former civil servant says that “house building had outpaced population
 growth for many years” (ref. Kate Macintosh’s comment) doesn’t mean it’s true. I think it is extremely unlikely. Beware of ‘experts’ on mainstream media! Though people may indeed regard a house as an investment doesn’t mean that they don’t also regard it as a home.

    With 4 million net immigration over the last two decades, continuing at over quarter a million a year, overpopulation IS the main cause of the housing shortage in our grossly overcrowded country. Are you, Kate, suggesting that we should stop building houses because a civil servant says we’ve got enough? I bet he or she isn’t homeless!

    The housing shortage isn’t the result of wicked landlords either. If there really was a surplus of housing overall, renting would be a tenants’ market and rents would fall. But there’s a shortage of housing overall, hence both house prices and rents are high, and the design of volume housing is sadly simple and dull to keep it cheap and affordable.

    Alan Crawford refers to the 1973 Essex Design Guide. It was a welcome reaction to the wasteful and characterless planning of housing estates that predominated nationwide at the time. The October 1973 edition of the Architectural Review magazine coined the phrase SLOAP - Space Left Over After Planning to describe phenomenon. As unimaginative local authorities are wont to be, most other counties soon copied the Essex Guide almost verbatim rather than produce, or commission, their own solutions to the problem. Hence housing estates still look much the same from one end of the country to the other, though different ,and denser, than their SLOAP predecessors.

    The one bad aspect of the Guide, in my view, is the characterless maze-like road layouts that it, and all the other local authorities’ versions, dictate, removing the scope for more formal layouts that would offer the possibility of creating a sense of place. I’m not saying that formal layouts should be the norm, but just that there should be some scope for them in parts of new estates.

    Finally, though the absurdly restrictive central government’s mandatory parking limitations were lifted over ten years ago, many recent estates that I’m aware of are woefully short of private and visitor parking spaces with the result that cars are parked willy nilly all over the place.

  • Comment on: Architects react to Tory landslide election victory: ‘Our country is left in tatters’

    Peter Phillips's comment 14 December, 2019 0:34 am

    So all you lefties were happy to vote for a traitor then? Someone who supped with a killer and a torturer (of his own people) in the House of Commons just weeks after the Brighton bombing? I actually spoiled my ballot paper, because I now loathe and distrust all the established parties who, in my opinion, have destroyed my country in my lifetime, in so many ways, but I thank God that Corbyn was so roundly rejected.

  • Comment on: ‘It’s impossible not to feel collectively ashamed over “human warehouse” schemes’

    Peter Phillips's comment 29 November, 2019 12:22 pm

    I would never have agreed to take on a commission such as this, as a matter of principal, however there's always someone who will, including non-architects, so as others here have stated, these PD regulations need to be repealed.

    The only time I have ever requested a meeting with my local MP was to try to point out the dangers of the PD relaxations when they were first about to be introduced in 2013, but he wasn't in the least but sympathetic. At the time I was mainly concerned with the then proposed temporary 3-year relaxation that could double the length of domestic extensions ... since made permanent in May this year, however the increasing number of these dreadful mulit-storey rabbit hutches are now an even greater issue.

    In our grossly overcrowded country it is the last twenty years, and continuing, mass immigration that has created the unaffordability of housing and thus the demand for such inhuman dwellings as these. The answer is not only to introduce decent legal minimum space standards for both rented AND ownership housing but to stop immigration. Not to do the latter will only see the housing situation get ever worse.

  • Comment on: Climate crisis: should architects still be designing airports?

    Peter Phillips's comment 27 November, 2019 12:50 pm

    Common sense at last, from the MacKenzie Architects' correspondent!

    World temperature has constantly oscillated - over Millenia and over the shorter timescales of centuries and decades. Most climate alarmists only refer to the temperature change since the 1960s, which has indeed seen a gentle rise. Actually this stopped about 15 years ago though, since when temperatures have been fairly stable. No doubt that’s why the alarmists stopped calling temperature change ‘global warming’ and started calling it ‘climate change’ instead!

    In the 1930s and 40s the temperature was significantly hotter than it is now. The American dust bowl of the 1930s was partly a result of that. Then world temperature declined until the 1960s (I remember the bitter three month winter of 1962/3). Throughout this period, and for millennia, CO2 levels have always followed temperature changes, not preceded them, so CO2 increase is NOT a cause of temperature change; it is almost certainly a result of it.

    We should also stop regarding CO2 as some sort of evil pollutant. It is an essential ingredient of life! Indeed farmers who grow food in glass houses or the like, increase CO2 levels to 400 ppm or thereabouts to boost plant growth. Plants love it! And the very modest increases in atmospheric CO2, from whatever sources, is almost certainly why the Earth is greening at the moment such that if it continues, the Sahara may well become the significant arable agricultural area that the Mackenzie Architects’ correspondent referred to.

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