View Point: Readers Letters - Planning for People; the City Centre Is No Place for Families

Article excerpt

AS AN active member of the city's youth focus group for planning and architecture, I read with great dismay that Birmingham planners are having to rethink their policies on private residential development within the city centre because of a minority campaigning for more social housing.

Central Birmingham is currently made up of 85 per cent social housing in relation to a small number of existing high quality, private developments. Research shows that families will not buy apartments in city centres purely because the property and location is unsuitable for children's needs.

Developments should be created in accordance with market forces and professional people feeding the demand for quality living spaces should not be restricted from bringing affluence into the city, which in turn creates a fashionable culture that puts Birmingham on the international map.

It should also be noted that wealthy buyers will not buy a luxury property next to rather nondescript social housing which is an inevitable trait of designing inexpensively.

We should not deter quality residential developments where they are needed and desired.

Equally, we should create new areas of social housing like the multi-million pound transformation of the Lee Bank estates, which will offer far more suitable homes for families in the right location rather than the urban climate of the cente.

Birmingham is undergoing an exciting urban revolution which is working so successfully because its creators are finally heeding the needs of society in all aspects.

Laurence Holmes (aged 17)


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