Filling in

Having taken my parents for a walk yesterday (which has only a few similarities to the same with a dog), I have noticed some planning applications and building works that are filling in some of the few unused spaces around here. Visible from my front window, two flats are being built at the end of a Victorian terrace. Progress, if  you   can    call     it      that,       is        very         slow. No more than one course of bricks per day.

From my rear window, I can see an old car repair business and bungalow. Both are now vacant with the latter boarded up and the garden wall recently demolished (either the work of vandals or a sign of preparatory work) and the walls of the former smothered with graffiti tags. Not pretty. The planned 22 flats will be, in some ways, an improvement, if they are ever built — it is almost two years since outline planning permission was granted with a string of conditions to mitigate against the risk of flooding. The Environment Agency charts show the risk of flooding to be less than once every 100 years.

At a corner nearby, there’s a planning application for three new houses. Having thought “They won’t fit!” I have checked. They will fit, but only because the gardens of the Victorian terraced houses behind (long since walled off when the houses were converted to flats) have been added to the plot. So three new houses complying with current housing regulations, but only at the expense of ensuring that four older houses never will.

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