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Private flats (tower blocks) all over London

(45 Posts)
Bumblequeen Mon 29-Oct-12 08:53:03

Is it me or are private flats being built on every bit of spare land?

Some areas are so overwhelming due to the mass of high buildings. They are literally piled behind one another.

The property prices are mad just mad! £250-300k for one/two bedrooms.

meditrina Mon 29-Oct-12 08:56:51

I think housing densities are increasing everywhere.

And how London looks depends on your frame of reference; it's amazingly low-rise if you're used to HongKong.

kinkyfuckery Mon 29-Oct-12 09:01:55

Sorry what's your question?

Birdsgottafly Mon 29-Oct-12 09:03:41

I thought that this was going to be about blocks that used to be Council owed and affordable, but were sold off and stupid prices are being charged.

That has happened in other parts of the country and it was very wrong.

I was born in a council flat on the 14th floor, that my family felt embarrassed about (they had been compulsary purchased). People are now paying over 150k to live in these "luxury appartments" grin.

griphook Mon 29-Oct-12 09:10:40

Blame each successive government who have no idea how to tackle a growing housing problem.

FoxtrotFoxtrotScarier Mon 29-Oct-12 09:13:28

There does seem to be a huge surge in building blocks of flats here at the moment - every day there's a new crane up! They look like unpleasant places to live too! Identikit tiny boxes with a million neighbours? For over £500k for a one bed? Overlooking industrial land? Lovely! confused

wonkylegs Mon 29-Oct-12 09:18:17

The problem is we continue to be a completely Londoncentric economy. There isn't really a UK housing shortage, there is a south east England housing shortage problem (and all the infrastructure issues that this brings with it).
Common sense says the easiest & most logical response to the problem is to stop trying to overuse the finite amount of space & resources in the SE and maximise the use of the regions whilst also improving transport & communication links to facilitate this.

dashoflime Mon 29-Oct-12 09:20:48

YANBU London is crazy. Tiny flats, stupid prices. Agree with Birds about "Luxury Apartments" I don't think I've ever known a flat in London NOT to be described as "luxury". Maybe having a roof over your head at all is a luxury these days.

Bumblequeen Mon 29-Oct-12 11:06:25

Moat of the flats are poky but decorated to a modern standard. They catch the eye of 20/30 year old professionals who have no interest in cosmetic work.

My friend warned me against new builds. The walls are thin, floorboards creak etc.

Years ago there was a stigma attached to living in high rise flats/tower blocks. Now people will spend £250k+ as they are being sold as 'luxury apartments'!
Theu are still tower blocks- just modernised with a gym and coffee shop thrown in for good measure.

London is becoming cramped by the minute. Far too many people living in a limited space.

FolkGhoul Mon 29-Oct-12 11:13:46


They've build a lot of flats just behind a local train station (not in London - it's happening everywhere!).

The nearest other houses were very close, but these are so close that when you are standing on the platform, you can see into the windows!

I've no idea who is going to be buying them.

They are tiny and also being described as 'luxury'. I'm sorry, but some people have a very different definition of luxury to me. IMO luxury is not a small living room with kitchen units against one wall and 2 tiny bedrooms with a windowless bathroom!

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 11:49:32

The fact that London is cramped is not news. It's not compulsory to live there or work there and if someone wants to pay over the odds for living in a fancy shoe-box, more fool them.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 29-Oct-12 11:58:02

it's amazingly low-rise if you're used to HongKong.

Yup- here anything less than 10-12 storeys is described as "low rise"- many of them are actually walk-ups. That's why Chinese people are thin grin

I actually prefer a model where cities (especially London) are allowed to become high density and there is more open countryside, rather than building a low density Barrett sprawl everywhere.

I live in HK in a big apartment complex- 6 identical towers, 350 apartments in all - I live on the 5th floor of 32. No balconies and obviously no gardens, but we have a gym, 2 pools, a fantastic large traffic-free podium area for kids to ride their bikes/play, outdoor play equipment, an indoor playroom (soft play), 3 function rooms, covered parking etc. I'd much rather have access to all that than have a terraced house with a postage stamp back garden. It's a real community because the kids all play out on communal space. The build quality is good- thick concrete floors- never hear my upstairs neighbours despite all having wooden floors. We all live very comfortably despite the whole development not taking up a massive amount of land.

High rise has a bad press in the Uk because of the disastrous post-war council housing experiment, but in other parts of the world, it's how we live, and it has real benefits. We have huge swathes of forested country park because we pack the housing in tight.

janelikesjam Mon 29-Oct-12 12:59:51

Yes, they would build flats on a match box in central London. A few nice ones, but most of them ugly and tiny.

janelikesjam Mon 29-Oct-12 13:06:32

And agree with RichMan - if they were done nicely and solidly with good communal space - would not get such a bad press. But most of them are pretty tacky n this country, such poor builds. And its not just from the 70s. Most of latest newbuilds are as you say an average living room with a side of cupboards ("a kitchen"!), 2 small bedrooms and no general cupboards, and poor communal space, if indeed there is one as often not anymore, not even any trees. They've just shoved up a bunch of concrete low-rise flats in the middle of nowhere, its just awful IMO.

BTW, I live in a 50s block and I can hear my neighbours go the toilet, laugh, open their cupboards and cough. Last Winter my neighbour said to me thats a bad cough you've got at the moment hmm.

WorraLiberty Mon 29-Oct-12 13:13:43

YANBU they're everywhere...though I think a small proportion have to be HA don't they?

Problem is, they're not building the amount of schools/Doctors/Dental surgeries etc to go with them.

noisytoys Mon 29-Oct-12 13:47:09

There seems to be an increase of seeing how many flats the developer can squish into a family house too. Around here (Essex) it's not uncommon to have 4-6 self contained flats per terraced house. Very small and very cramped

honeytea Mon 29-Oct-12 15:13:04

We live in a lovely flat in Sweden, it's normal here for families to live in apartments as they are easy to heat and practical (you don't have to shovel snow of your own roof and drive) our apartments are listed, they were built post war the idea was that the apartments are built in a circle around a forest with a play park, swimming pool BBQ areas football/basketball ball pitch.

It's really really lovely, we could afford a terraced house close to where we live but I can't see the advantage, it seems like lots more work for les facilities.

I think in the UK there is a bit of an obsession with having your own home and own garden, I own a 3 bedroom terrace in the UK that I rent out but given the choice of where I want to bring up my baby I'd choose our smaller apartment in Stockholm.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 29-Oct-12 15:16:10

There's nothing wrong with flats being built. People need somewhere to live, and there seems to be constant calls on this website for more housing to be built.

The country needs more homes, I can't see the problem.

noisytoys Mon 29-Oct-12 15:23:22

The problem isn't flats. It's the size of flats. If it is common that a flat has no storage and rooms just big enough for a bed, there's a problem

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 29-Oct-12 15:27:18

My house with a garden has next to nothing in the way of storage, and one of my dcs bedrooms has space for nothing but a bed and a tiny children's ikea wardrobe.

That's life. I wasn't forced to buy this house!

wonkylegs Mon 29-Oct-12 17:26:54

Outraged it is a myth that the country as a whole needs loads and loads of more homes. There is a shortage in some areas and yes less new homes are being built than in previous years with Certain areas in more demand than others but if you look at the country as a whole there is a lot of housing stock under-utilised and empty. The quality of new housing stock is shocking and the size in m2 is shrinking year on year.
The RIBA space standards survey published in 2011 compared the UK new build to the rest of Europe and we have by far the smallest homes. In Denmark the average new build home is 80% bigger than it's equivalent in the UK.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 29-Oct-12 17:38:25

There is a lot of under occupancy, but that problem is only going to get worse when we have so many single parent families.

If there really isn't a housing shortage, then great! I often read people on here complaining about a lack of housing though, there are loads of people that seem to have spent time living in B&Bs or waiting for council housing to become available.

Maybe it isn't that there is a lack of housing, it's more that people are fussy about what they live in. People seem to think that their children should have their own bedrooms and that they should have a garden just because they have kids.

noisytoys Mon 29-Oct-12 17:44:56

You seem to be making a lot of assumptions. My children share a bedroom (we have 2 bedrooms between 4 people) and we have no garden. Not do I plan to move anywhere with more rooms or outside space anytime soon

expatinscotland Mon 29-Oct-12 17:47:15

'There is a lot of under occupancy, but that problem is only going to get worse when we have so many single parent families.'

The most significant proporation of under-occupiers are pensioners, and they are except from social housing under-occupancy clamp downs.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 29-Oct-12 18:23:45

There are plans that will change that for the future though aren't there? Well, I thought there were from what I've read on here. Something about new council/ha tennants having to downsize or lose HB when they under occupy?

While I'm sure the biggest proportion of under occupancies are pensioners, they are under occupying because their families move out of home or their partners die. When families split up a bedroom that once slept two people will only sleep one person, and the other will need to find a whole new roof to sleep under. That's what made me think the problem is likely to get worse.

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