Slums of Tomorrow

Benedict saw this article on the BBC website some time ago (ahem, it sort of shows you how badly behind I am in my correspondence – sorry, Ben…) and wondered whether this could happen to us.

The gist of it is that in their greed to build as many new homes on as small a piece of land as possible, developers are making places that are just too small to live in.

I’ve been looking at the brochure for the new development at Lovell’s Wharf. And I’ll give the PR people their due – after reading that lot even I suddenly fancy living there.

But just take a closer look at those room plans. Where’s the storage space? Where do you put your ironing board? The bin? The skis you use once a year? Some of the apartments have a ‘utility room’ (cupboard) but most, from my scrying, don’t.

Now, admittedly, I’ve never been much of a minimalist – but you’d need to have some kind of disorder to have little enough clutter to keep these places tidy.

Same goes for those little rabbit hutches they’re building along Woolwich Road where the old Jet Garage was. On the plans for them, (which I can’t seem to find just now) the artist has kindly removed Woolwich Road, replacing it with trees, and taken away the bus garage behind the block. Of course there is no trace of the giant road sign immediately outside one of the appartments…

I loved one of the comments on the BBC website, where some wag had scribbled over the room plan outside one block in Bristol – “Flat shown is actual size.”

So what do you think? Could you learn to be tidy, as long as the view was good and you got to live in the best town in the world?

One Comment to “Slums of Tomorrow”

  1. Lucy says:

    Late to the party here, but have just seen Lovell's wharf ads asking around £450 000 for a 2 bed and also £750 000 for a tiny tiny third bedroom. I am not sure about the one beds, I think they start at about £280000 but it doesn't look like a good place for people to get a foot on the ladder if they are struggling with local prices. It could be that there will be a deal to be done since they have a few to sell, but that is precisely why this kind of development is maybe not an investment – there are so many similar flats that if they can't sell them all they reduce the prices and values plummet, and problem residents can move in using the flats as fronts. Hopefully that won't happen here as they probably have quite good rental potential, but in the current economic situation I'd be wary.

    The bedrooms are really small for such prices when you consider that the smaller one doesn't have any built in storage, eg 10 by 8 and 10by 12.

    I know some contractors have told me that Millenium Quay and Mil. Village flats have quite low build quality in terms of fixtures and fittings having been properly fixed, don't know if that is true but it does make me worry about Lovell's too as it was completed in a cut corners recession.

    I'd like to go and have a nosy at a show flat there though..