Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where to build?

A few weeks ago as England was under several feet of water, we had stern lectures about the disappearance of gardens. Paving over gardens for car parking or suchlike reduces the area of grass and soil which rainwater can easily drain through.
Today, as the need for more houses becomes ever more acute, we are told that the green belt must be built on. But won't doing that be much, much worse for drainage than paving over some gardens?
And all the time, brown field sites (that's derelict and/or flattened buildings in urban areas to you and me) stand idle. There's a reason for this. The land these areas occupy is increasing in value all the time, but doesn't attract the taxman's attention until such time it's built on when the buildings become taxable assets (yes I've just read Private Eye which includes an illuminating letter on this subject). Rather, such sites are generally turned over for car parking, if anything at all.
Like a small section of a sudoku puzzle, there's one way these three things - not increasing flood risk, protecting the green belt and having large swathes of urban land stand (relatively) idle - to fit together in harmony. The methods proposed over the last few weeks are not the right way to do it. You end up with two twos in the same column (sudoku analogy stretched to snapping point. Ending it now).


Gary said...

Guilty as charge - my recent decking project now means that my garden is completely covered in wood.

John_D said...

You've finished it?

Gary said...

Yes - for now.

I have my eye on the bit down the side of the garage though...