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Housing densities and consumer choice

Evans, A. and Unsworth, R. (2012) Housing densities and consumer choice. Urban Studies, 49 (6). pp. 1163-1177. ISSN 1360-063X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0042098011405692


From 2001, the construction of flats and high-density developments increased in England and the building of houses declined. Does this indicate a change in taste or is it a result of government planning policies? In this paper, an analysis is made of the long-term effects of the policy of constraint which has existed for the past 50 years but the increase in density is identified as occurring primarily after new, revised, planning guidance was issued in England in 2000 which discouraged low-density development. To substantiate this, it is pointed out that the change which occurred in England did not occur in Scotland where guidance was not changed to encourage high-density residential development. The conclusion that the change is the result of planning policies and not of a change in taste is confirmed by surveys of the occupants of new high-rise developments in Leeds. The new flat-dwellers were predominantly young and childless and expressed the intention, in the near future, when they could, of moving out of the city centre and into houses. From recent changes in guidance by the new coalition government, it is expected that the construction of flats in England will fall back to earlier levels over the next few years.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:30945

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