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Kickstart gets a kicking from Fraser

April 20 2010

Kickstart gets a kicking from Fraser
Malcolm Fraser, fresh from scooping a commendation for Edinburgh’s Infirmary Street Baths at the Scottish Civic Trust Awards, has criticised the Kickstart housebuilding programme for restarting “shovel ready” schemes.

Writing on BD online Fraser accused the public money bail out of developers as serving merely to bring “diddy-boxes, car-dependent and decorated by gob-ons” and “urban-lumpen flats” back from the dead.

Though Scotland’s approach is likely to differ Fraser railed: “While I take it that Scotland’s response will be a bit fluffier, with some less-profit bits, the point remains: if government borrows money on behalf of the community it should invest it with the community’s interest put first, not the housebuilders’. This means public homes — council housing — properly commissioned, and designed by our best architects with the full involvement of the communities they are to build for.”

The Scottish Government insists that they will not subsidise poor quality homes but that adoption of Scottish building regulations is only “likely.”


#1 Posted by Jane on 20 Apr 2010 at 13:36 PM
is malkie wearing one of these lumpen flats or is it just more of his "gob-on" and on and on?
#2 Posted by John on 20 Apr 2010 at 17:00 PM
Malcolm Fraser has a very valid point about what public cash should be spent on, and the government response was not exactly heartening; it seems the taxpayer will be forking out to bolster up developers only interested in a fast buck. There appear to be no strings attached to what we are paying for. Still, it's only 'affordable' housing for the 'poor' so possibly they don't count?
There's not even a guarantee of minimum standards (low in any case) and with no design quality built in to the process. We should be demanding better.
(The building is Infirmary Street Baths, Malcolm Fraser Architects; it won a High Commendation in yesterday's Civic Trust My Place Awards.)
iain meek
#3 Posted by iain meek on 21 Apr 2010 at 11:04 AM
What is your government up to? We've bailed out the bankers. Are we now to bail out the developers?

Surely anyone in power can see decent standards must apply?

I'm pushing Camden (in London) to require good quality design by requiring that al developers employ an architect.

Progress towards decent housing is obviously an uphill battle on both sides of the border.

Good luck to you, Malcolm

Iain Meek
Independent candidate for Holborn & Saint Pancras

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