Housing Policy Is a Failure ; Readers' Views

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 2, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Housing Policy Is a Failure ; Readers' Views

BACK in May, Gordon Brown said he thought five eco-towns could be built in Britain, with homes, roads and bus routes constructed "in the most environmentally sustainable way". Since then the five have grown to 10, and now Health Secretary Alan Johnson says they should be adapted to make them improve people's health (1 November).

I trust the UK's obesity czar will amend his boss's transport proposals.

For if Johnson thinks his task is to "help people make physical activity a normal part of everyday life", then dispensing with roads in the eco-towns would ensure people stay slim and if the World Cancer Research Fund's new report is to be believed avoid cancer.

What about making these new towns TV-free zones too? After all, TV encourages us to be couch potatoes bad for the NHS and UK plc. And in the walk-towork office blocks of the new eco-towns, please let us have no lifts to encourage sloth.

Labour's zeal to make us live zero-carbon, zero-carbohydrate lifestyles squeezes two ridiculous aims into one failed policy housing. Labour has engineered nowhere near the required number of homes in the Thames Gateway but its ambitions to police us through social engineering know no limits.

Professor James Woudhuysen, SW15.

TEN years ago, I started to argue for the building of a new town outside Cambridge. The idea was to relieve development pressure on Cambridge, without destroying either its "small city" character or ruining every village in the surrounding area.

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