Latest Reader Comments

  • Zef on HS2 contract to deliver tunnel segment factory in HartlepoolThis project is already £50bn over budget. The award of a contract to create 100 new jobs pales in comparison to the 1.1 million vacancies already unfulfilled in the UK. What guarantee is there that people will want to work, when we can't even fill the jobs necessary to our society? Petrol crisis? Food shortages? Unemployment at a 20 year high? Surely Boris has a plan... Holiday in Marbella of course! Long live our esteemed Prime Minister.
  • Yvette Taylor on UK government launches £2.8bn hospital building programmeI'll believe it, when I see it. The Government promises one thing & do another. Why build near Retail Units? Use the land for housing. That's what being screamed for. Re-design the main Hospital & build up, that way, there's enough room.
  • John Kellett on England’s ‘leaky’ homes are greater threat to climate than cars, says NHFA fact that is entirely due to the way that Conservative party policy is dictated by the large developers and contractors that help fund it 🙂 A failing that the current Labour Party does not escape since that is largely funded by trade unions who are more interested in maintaining the status quo of workers rather than expanding their role, capabilities and pay through the use of technology. We need to sort those issues out first and reinstate sensible building regulations and legislation.
  • Bill Davis on BIM4Water publishes 2026 RoadmapThere needs to be more support for clients and less colourful paperwork. I support 5 water supply clients and their EIRs are atrocious. Asking for things they don't want and cant work with a lot of the framework stuff this year e.g. COBie which two have admitted isn't what they want or simply focussing on modelling and not on specific requirements. So much waste
  • David Lees on The 2021 building materials crisis explainedA word of caution re timber use. The current scarcity has the potential to last unless the US economy takes a dive. The US was building 1.3m homes pre-Covid, with the capacity to supply just over 1m from homegrown timber. Canada made up the rest. It sank to 700,000 in Covid and has now risen to 1.7m (figures remembered from a conversation, so scale ok but may not be precise). Bark Beatle is devastating timber in western Canada. A friend flew for an hour over nothing but forest and it was ALL dead. This timber be cannot be used. The German and Scandinavians are the big European suppliers, and they are sending it to the US where the industry is so desperate it's paying huge premiums. So a big double wammy that is nothing to do with Brexit or even Covid. For instance, the price at which roofing battens are being sold to major UK suppliers has now quadrupled in no time. One major specialist supplier of battens is up to 20 weeks I believe. This will have a significant effect on our ability to move to timber as a more sustainable material. The UK is also suffering from the...
  • Dr Robert Illes on The importance of removing toxic materials from housebuildingA call to action on toxic materials is absolutely welcome, so thank you for raising it. However, I feel it needs to go further than just human-centric outcomes and consider whole-planet outcomes; asking whether materials are healthy for animals, plants and everything else we share this world with. For instance, consider PIR. Good modern material, excellent insulation properties in a slim depth. Absolute disaster when you start sawing it up on-site and the dust and particles go everywhere - so much I learnt when I commissioned some roof and floor insulation retrofits on my house a few years ago, constrained by available depth and not knowing any better (it might be OK in a well-ventilated off-site setting). Birds can eat these particles and starve to death. Living in a wildlife rich area, I consequentially hoovered my garden every day while the PIR works and I think mitigated the problem as I'm still rewarded by profuse garden wildlife visiting - I'll choose better next time though.
  • OJ Davis on Shortage of lorry drivers intensifies materials crisisThis is an issue that really needs to be addressed as we begin to get back to normality. You would assume that the 30K UK driver shortage should be a relatively short term issue, however the 15K heads taken out due to Brexit had not really settled before the pandemic kicked in. This is going to be a more ongoing issue that needs to be addressed, especially with material prices already soaring!
  • Reclaim Holloway on Plans unveiled for 980 new homes at former Holloway prisonThe "Women's Building" being proposed is a large residential block with some flexible ground floor space for women's services. This has been widely criticised by the community, the construction industry and women's organisations as inadequate and tokenistic. The area provided is too small for all the services that should be housed there.
  • Phil Ashcroft on Why local authorities need to stop halting planning in its tracksAbsolutely agree with Shruti’s comments particularly arbitrarily rejection of planning proposals by planning committees. Some councils are productive and pulling their weight with good build rates, but some are entrenched in negative rejection by default but the added problem is housing delivery test failure places the LPA into presumption status, but the housing ministry does nothing about it. There are no consequences for LPAs with serious under delivery as no penalty is applied and they continue to reject more often than not with negative predetermination of applications. Policies dated from 25 years ago are still used to reject applications even though one particular council is in in full presumption status for a delivery failure rate of 34%. It does not help that the average appeal success rate is currently only around 23% and many of the Inspectorate decisions tend to support the LPA and maintain the status quo rather than encouraging development and supporting developers. I think it is the case that far more work has to be put in by an appeal inspector to agree with an application and pass it, than needs to be put in to refuse an application, so often the easy way out is taken....
  • Tom on Unregistered engineer sentenced for illegal gas work  This sad excuse of a human has been stealing and putting peoples lives at risks all his life. He moved to England from Scotland after being wanted in Scotland for numerous offences. This scum bag stole over £1000 off me after running off when I paid first payment and left my place a dangerous mess. So glad he is behind bars finally .
  • David Lees on Why local authorities need to stop halting planning in its tracksThe planning profession is intellectually bankrupt and working to rule because of the drift towards excessive prescription, excessive amounts of policies and the "fear of the press" or other backlash. And who can blame the officers for protecting their pensions and not sticking their neck out. Development control used to be a sensible conversation between informed adults, working to general principals. It takes a brave officer or authority to go against the current trend and return to common sense interpretation. I just checked and we are doing 4 no. £750K-£1m extension/ancillary building projects in the green belt where the town planning approval and appeal route has completely failed, and so we have turned to PD / PA, with a successful outcome for what was previously rejected at appeal. The impact on the Green Belt is absolutely no different. Development control will see its own demise as resentment rises and national politics under conservative leadership moves under pressure from the electorate to "less government" ways of releasing development.
  • Paul Foxley on Why local authorities need to stop halting planning in its tracksI am very disappointed and quite surprised to see Shruti Trivedi describe Dan Rontree of Heronswood Architectural Design as an architect, when he is not. As a solicitor, surely Shruti must be well aware of the Architects Act 1997 and the restriction of use of the title 'architect' to those on the ARB Register. Such a casual breach of law undermines the credibility of both the author and this newsletter. I look forward to seeing a future PBC Today article explaining the difference between architects and non-architects and referencing the associated legislation.
  • Matt Davis on Network Rail’s innovative railway footbridge design unveiledHave you performed an EqIA? It certainly looks totally non-inclusive
  • Lisette Muntslag on Man erased from Architects Register for inappropriate social media post@Michael Kaye, you disagree with the above comments, and I disagree with the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty displayed. The bias in your statement and use of the word antisemitism is very typical. Bolshevik communist turned that word into a psychological torture weapon to silence their critics and opposition. Jews abuse their privileges to call people, racist, Nazi and anti-semite every chance they get if they don't like what you have to say. I speak from experience, some in New York went as far as calling me a piece of Sh*t simply because they didn't like my opinion, they threaten and intimidate you with impunity. What is the difference between a Jewish person and a non-Jewish person? Why is one group of people placed above all other people walking the face of the earth? Why are those who say they are Jewish getting special legal protection beyond comprehension while they in more ways than one trample the rights of others? Please explain that double standard and apartheid in the supposedly civilized world to me. When I brought up this issue in another discussion and mentioned Oliver Cromwell the silence became deafening, so please be honest.....
  • Peter Bullard on Green light for £24m student accommodation in BirminghamI live quite close to the site and can categorically tell you that the students all moved away around 5 years ago due to the distance and amount of housing now available closer to the Uni. Some serious number crunching must have been done to convince people they were still here as I haven't seen any for years.
  • Patricia Fletcher on Confusion and delays hamper Green Homes Grant schemeLike you, I've had many problems. I received my voucher for loft insulation in mid-December 2020. They had incorrectly stated a grant award as inclusive of VAT but it was in fact exclusive - a simple inability to read a quote. I advised them the next day and was told I should receive an amended voucher soon. Nearly 6 months later and after over 10 phones calls, many emails and sending my quote again, it's still unsettled, I was told to appeal by customer services who said their team were low scale and couldn't progress the problem. They said to send my email appeal at least 6 times - I've sent it 7 or 8. You are supposed to receive an acknowledgement within 5 days. It's now 20 days and not even that has been received. I've written to my MP and the Citizens Advice Bureau to complain. If I was working in the private sector I'd expect to be sacked over such a poor performance. I doubt whether the scheme managers and administrators (a US consultancy firm with offices in the UK) will even suffer a performance-related reduction in payment. An increasingly frustrated pensioner!
  • Robin on Focus on fully glazed extensions to dwellingsRdSAP should not be used to measure Carbon in Dwellings while having an Extension. For heavily glazed extensions the Whole House should be considered. The client gets what they want (more glass) Part L is satisfied and the end-user of the home has a more energy efficient home.
  • Peter Johnson on Government seeks views on new residential developer taxDevelopers should pay the full cost of remediation of apartment blocks which have not been built to the standards of Approved Document B. These buildings have been built on the cheap therefore increasing developers profits. Going forward all developers should be licensed. Failure to build in accordance with building regs should result in loss of license.
  • Liam on Nearly all councils are failing to deliver affordable housingWhat can be done to ensure that builders don't just leave the affordable housing for last on a site, and then pull out citing issues like lack of funding, only to then move onto their next planning permission/builds? What can the Mayors do to resolve this; should there be a requirement to build the affordable houses in tandem with the others, to ensure that affordable housing is delivery is maximised?
  • TonyA on The cladding crisis: A way forwardIt is factually incorrect that the Government is providing £5 billion, and this stated only a sentence after saying that £3.5 billion of new money will be funded by a tax on large developers who build high-rises in future. The Government isn't providing that £3.5 billion: housebuilders are, and perhaps their future flat owners in the form of higher sale prices, if these can be achieved. The result of this shoddy policy is that good builders and developers are being forced to pay for the errors of poor ones, councils like Kensington (which outsourced the risk at Grenfell Tower to an inadequate management company, and it appears will face *no* repercussions in the form of financial penalties or people losing their jobs), and successive Governments which permitted the development of very poor testing regimes and building control monitoring services. High rise remediation works should be paid for those who failed: the material suppliers, the councils, the building control organisations and most of all the general taxpayer and our representatives and civil servants in central Government. This is a collective failure, and the cost should fall not on leaseholders or builders and developers who have done nothing wrong. The cost of...