Pamphlet cites variety as key

Suburban house types satisfy the aspirations of ordinary people throughout the country, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) said this week.

Calling for a "flexible approach to housing density", a TCPA pamphlet warns that environmental considerations should not necessarily take precedence over public housing preferences and that policy must be shaped by "individual choice".

It should be possible to meet people's preferences while also tackling their concerns, the TCPA argues. Housing should not be tailored to fit too closely to the household profile of any one moment in time, it advises, and variety should be crucial.

"The widespread imposition of very high housing densities will inflict high social, economic and environmental costs on communities and create places that appeal only to a small minority of households," the report argues.

"Many reasons cited to justify high and low residential densities need to be challenged," said TCPA director Gideon Amos. A target of 35 homes per hectare is acceptable for achieving broad social and environmental objectives, he added, but a one-size-fits-all policy will not work.

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