Azara Blog: Government housing plans in the southeast a disaster

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Date published: 2005/01/30

The BBC says:

Irreversible environmental damage" will be caused by government plans to build more than one million homes in south-east England, MPs have warned.

"Sustainable communities" were being promoted without a real understanding of what "sustainable" means, the Environmental Audit Committee said.

It said issues like energy needs and transport were not properly addressed.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the report was completed before new initiatives were announced.

He said: "We are working across government, especially with our colleagues at Defra, to create cleaner, safer and greener communities, while protecting and enhancing the environment."

The report said there was far too little attention paid to many environmental issues, including water, even though supplies in parts of the South East are already too low.

Regulations designed to ensure energy-efficient buildings are too lax, and builders routinely flout them anyway, it said.

Financing for improving transport was around one-twentieth of what would be required.

Of course anything done by government on this scale will almost certainly end up being a disaster. And interventions by MPs will almost certainly make the situation even worse. Political correctness will win out over common sense. In the housing context the use of the word "sustainable" is a sure indicator of political correctness. In future the urban planning of the 2000s will be considered to be just as dreadful as the 1960s are considered today.

In Cambridgeshire, at the top of the M11 corridor, which is supposed to receive many of the new houses, the government cannot even get its act together to make the A14 into a decent road instead of leaving it in the disasterous shape it is today. Thousands of new homes will be built without any additional transport infrastructure because it costs money to build roads and because the so-called environmentalists and NIMBYs will force that money to be diverted elsewhere.

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