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Letter: A Massive Building Programme Is Not Possible In The Short-term

Published on: 5 May, 2015
Updated on: 5 May, 2015

HousingFrom Bibhas Neogi

I do not normally comment on issues other than transport as I do not reside within Guildford Borough, I just have to travel through it, hence my interest in traffic.

But I’m going to break my self-imposed silence to say a few things about housing.

Having dealt with bridges on motorways and trunk roads in the South East of England, throughout my career as an engineer for nearly 40 years, I have experienced how road schemes are developed and how long the process takes.

Planning for new housing on many different locations would, I think, pose similar issues of compliance with rules, regulations, codes of practices, consultations, planning applications, objections and meetings with opposition groups and the rest. The upshot would be that not much would get done in a great hurry.

Building on a huge scale requires adequate supply of raw materials, products, technicians, builders and companies with experience, capacity and financial stability. Considering that the drive to build new houses is for all the South East counties, the overall targets are really not achievable within the time-scale.

There simply isn’t the resources both human and material. A sudden forced increase of resources that are unsustainable would lead to businesses collapsing and followed by huge unemployment.

My feeling is that a massive house building programme is extremely unlikely to materialise. Some will be but even though Guildford has granted planning permission for some 1,500 units only a few have been built.

Our culture is, by and large, uncomfortable with change but villages do sometimes grow into towns and towns into cities. The process is unstoppable. Green belt boundaries will have to be adjusted by insetting villages to release more land for building but only after all available sites, including brownfield ones, have been developed.

Should Guildford people be afraid of a massive building programme? I would say there is no real danger of that happening.

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Responses to Letter: A Massive Building Programme Is Not Possible In The Short-term

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    May 5, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I agree simply not enough resources.

    25 men of various trades six weeks per house, 95 teams to build the project housing claimed to be needed over 25 years or there abouts – so housing for 5,000 builders before we even start building the housing needed for the area.

    205 million bricks and not enough timber and tiles for the roofs, not enough water, electricity, sewage disposal or traffic space…

  2. John Robson Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I think naivety is being displayed here, there’s a £1.5 billion pot of gold sitting on the edge of the gr££n belt.

    This is what the developers who bought arable land for peanuts have been waiting a generation for.

  3. Harry Eve Reply

    May 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Also, lots of extra housing would require extra schools too – before the extra pupils move in to the area.

    Planning for and building the schools would be one thing but finding the extra teachers they would need could be a serious problem. Not that the developers would be concerned about that – it’s not their problem.

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