Room to expand

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Professor Deveci is right to castigate the abysmally designed, “pokiest and most expensive housing in the developed world” (Friends of The Scotsman, 2 October).

House buyers are being conned by developers who – with only rare exceptions – offer a not-cheap but often nasty product, “designed” by a technician with a computer package and no architectural qualification.

The planners are clearly unable or unwilling to insist on higher standards; they would need councillors of vision and integrity backing them to send developers back to the drawing board. Other than tinkering with the colour of roof tiles or the density per hectare, this almost never happens.

We may wait a long time before housing design approaches the quality which is the norm in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, so in the meantime councils could at least insist that a high percentage of new housing is planned and constructed to allow for easy extension up into the roof or into the garden, otherwise no planning consent would be granted.

This would allow families to expand while staying in the area of their choice, without forcing them to move on to a bigger house.

Most people would, I’m sure, be happy to pay more for a skilfully designed house of that sort in the knowledge they would be spared the trauma of another “flitting” and the high costs involved in that a few years down the line.

David Roche

Hill House

Coupar Angus

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