Colin Wiles is an independent housing consultant, and former housing association chief executive. He currently chairs the eastern regional committee of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and is also a member of the National Housing Federation’s regional committee.
Blog Posts (128)
Help to buy has distorted the psychology of the housing market, writes Colin Wiles.
The demise of Building Societies has lessons for our increasingly diverse sector, writes Colin Wiles
Bromford chief Mick Kent has written an open letter on welfare reform and the ‘dependency culture’ within housing. Here are my thoughts.
London’s economy may be booming but it is also storing up huge housing problems for the future, writes Colin Wiles
This is the third in a series of blogs about the way we use land in England.
Colin Wiles contributes to:
Comment on: Golf and gaff
I agree with the comments and I'm not suggesting that most golf courses could be built upon. But there may be scope for land swaps by reducing the capacity of the sector as a whole by turning some of them into more useful areas of public open access/country parks etc in return for being able to build on marginal land on the edge of towns and cities.
Comment on: Look back in anger
Melvin - you are right and there is a theory about the relative size of cities. See here. http://geography.about.com/od/urbaneconomicgeography/a/primatecities.htm
It's certainly the case that Manchester etc are too small.
Comment on: Could do better
He didn't say 200,000 homes in England, he said Britain. The whole speech was about Britain ("Britain can do better than this" etc). He said the figure of 200,000 wold be “more than at any time in a generation”. This was misleading because we built 205,050 homes in Britain in 2007/08 which is certainly less than a generation ago. The last time we built more than 200,000 in England was in 1988/89 when we built 202,930. The target of 200,000 was also set for the end of the next Parliament, i.e. at least 5 years away. It's not enough!
There are 1.7 million hectares of green belt land in England. The current proposals involve 1,000 hectares. That is such a tiny proportion of the total that it barely registers on my calculator. Since 1979 the amount of green belt land in the UK has nearly doubled - you never hear the CPRE telling you that. This is just another example of their scaremongering. The notion that green belt land should be set in stone for ever and a day is just ludicrous.
Comment on: Support Nick Boles
thanks John - you are right, some politicians and local campaigners saw the abolition of regional targets as an opportunity to reduce their housing targets. Thankfully the Planning Inspectorate is taking a robust approach, but this is what is causing MPs like Blunt to claim that localism is dead.
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