Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Crap Towns Of Tomorrow

So Gordo wants to build 5 new towns, eco-towns, each with 20,000 new eco-homes.

Let's set on one side the fact that he's presided over a fall in the number of home completions from 190,000 pa to last year's 160,000. Let's ask instead whether there's the slightest chance taxpayers will get anything out of the deal?

To start with, what are the projected costs? As per, we have absolutely no idea because he hasn't told us. And despite what he said today about the budget-busting Dome being a Big Mistake, in all probability he hasn't got the faintest idea himself.

So given that the costs are unknown, what about the benefits?

Yes, yes, somewhere for 100,000 households to live. Which might go some miniscule way towards housing the net 2 million migrants who have joined us over the last decade.

But what about the towns themselves? Will they still be fit to live in twenty years from now, say?

Because of course, when it comes to building new towns, Britain's socialist governments have got serious form. No fewer than 28 were built in the years following WW2, as part of some top-down brand new bright tomorrow. And virtually every single one of them now features regularly in Britain's Top Fifty Crap Towns. Dysfunctional concrete slabs (no offence*) like Cumbernauld, Basingstoke, Corby, Skelmersdale, Redditch, and Basildon.

Ah yes, say the Commissars, but now we've learned from those mistakes, and this time it will be different. For one thing, these days, everything's gone eco... and that.

I have a very bad feeling about this.

*Footnote- I'm allowed to talk about concrete and dysfunction like this because I grew up in Slough.

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