Since starting this blog I have been approached by a number of University students asking for information about housing design, housing estates, and related matters. Rather than creating a new list each time I am putting the list here.


Manor Estate Sheffield

The category groupings that follow are general owing to the overlap in subject matter among the papers many of which fall into more than one category. This rather arbitrary list is intended as a starting point for your housing research and is by no means a definitive guide.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Open Garden Estates?

The aim [is] to help banish the myth of council estates as concrete jungles that are home to anti-social behaviour and crime, and show them to be what they are – some of the last instances of community living left in London, and perhaps the only remaining places where the mixed communities we hear so much about in the speeches of politicians have a chance to survive the encroachment of gated ghettos of predominantly white, middle-class wealth.

Read the rest of this entry »


BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to discover what made the terrace Britains home of choice and why they’re still as devoted to these houses as their first inhabitants were well over a century ago.”

This week’s programme examines the development of the terraced house in the Liverpool district of Toxteth during the 19th century. As the city grew as a port, its population expanded both with the rural exodus and the influx of Irish migrants fleeing the potato famine.

Read the rest of this entry »


I think it needs to be known how Lambeth Council behave when confronted with alternative proposals to their demolition plans to the estates in the borough over which they presently have political control.

If you don’t follow ASH on Twitter or are not a member of the Facebook group or read their blog you will probably not be aware of the hostility they are up against on a day to day basis in putting forward an alternative method of dealing with the housing situation in Lambeth.

Once again therefore, rightly or wrongly, I feel it necessary to publish what happened the night ASH tried to present their alternative proposals for Central Hill to Lambeth Council.

You can read about the presentation itself on their blog here:-

ASH Presentation to Central Hill Estate Residents Engagement Panel

What you’re less likely to read is what follows, as published on the Facebook page. Once again I don’t know if I ought to be doing this but I think you are entitled to know, if you have any interest in the housing situation in London.

Read the rest of this entry »

Programme Name: Dan Cruickshank: At Home With The British - TX: n/a - Episode: Cottages (No. 1 - Cottages) - Picture Shows: Dan Cruickshank - (C) Oxford Film and Television - Photographer: Lorian Reed-Drake

BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to go beyond masonry and mortar and come face to face with residents past and present, I want to understand how they lived and how they transformed buildings into homes.”

In a remarkable programme lasting just one hour Dan Cruickshank traces the development of a Warwickshire village beginning with its entry in the Domesday Book then through 500 years of history to the present day, studying in great detail the transformation of Medieval cottage life to the home comforts we have come to know by way of the chimney stack, glass windows and separate rooms for different functions.

Read the rest of this entry »


Yesterday Martin Rowson published a cartoon about the London Mayoral elections under which “Press the red button” wrote this comment, later deleted by the Guardian. I agree with the sentiments expressed and believe the entire “anti-semitism” row was an attack cooked up by the Bitterites (so called moderate wing of the Labour party) against Jeremy Corbyn and assisted by Tory Jews in postions of influence.  So I’m publishing it here because the Guardian won’t.

Abusive comments will be deleted.

Read the rest of this entry »

ASH on the Housing Bill

May 5th, 2016

I copied what follows off the ASH FB page. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done I don’t know – but what I do know is that every word of it rings true. This is a fight for the survival of council housing in the UK and if you think that’s an exaggeration then watch the Housing Bill pass and the housing crisis worsen inexorably.

Well, that was worth it. Further proof that the fight for council housing won’t be won in Parliament by the verbal outrage of landlords and company CEOs, but on council estates and by the direct action of the residents whose homes are threatened.

We need to stop asking the people and institutions that want to demolish our homes to give us the means to stop them doing so, and start organising our own resistance on the ground. That starts with the political awakening of every resident to the reality of what they are facing, which is not a policy disagreement between Tory and Labour but a class war being waged by the rich.

I’ve said this from the time we first read this Bill and I’ll repeat it again now. This Bill is not ‘badly thought through’, ‘written too quickly’, a ‘hodgepodge’, or ‘half-baked’ – as the Labour Party and its press have endlessly dismissed it as.

It is carefully designed to do exactly what it intends to do, which is bring about the end of social housing in this country. The Labour Party should understand this better than anyone, as it has been, and will continue to be, its councils that will implement the Bill’s legislation.

It is this truth that we need to face, and quickly, if we are to organise mass resistance to its attacks, not in A-B marches to Parliament, submissions to the House of Lords, or faith in the Second Coming of J.C. to miraculously reverse what’s going to happen to council housing over the next four years.

These measures, which have wasted the time and drained the energy of what limited opposition to the Bill there has been, have only served to divert our attention from what is really needed to oppose it, which is collective resistance by the hundreds of thousands of residents whose homes will be sold or demolished by the Housing and Planning Bill and the mass estate regeneration programmes its legislation will enable. – Simon Elmer

I found this by ASH (Architects for Social Housing) on their Facebook page and it’s too important to leave there so if you are a leaseholder on an estate threatened with redevelopment against your wishes then read, mark, and learn what follows:-

Apart from all this mucking about, one thing that came out of the presentations and discussions, and which was backed up by advice from a barrister and a leasehold lawyer, is that collective resistance by leaseholders forcing Councils to issue Compulsory Purchase Orders against them is one of the most effective ways to resist estate regeneration and save the homes of all residents, leaseholders and council tenants alike.

It costs the Council shitloads, allows us to question the consolation process at legal inquiries, put forward alternative plans and argue that they better represent the needs of the local community, and delays their demolition plans by years. It also casts an uncomfortably bright light on the Plato’s cave of illusions in which the public is imprisoned by the press.

If we can show every leaseholder on every estate in London why they should do this, then the Tory Government, Labour Councils, Savills, and all the other housing associations, building companies and property investors feeding at the London housing table might start to think again about whether estate demolition really is the easiest route to a quick buck. – Simon Elmer

Time was I thought blogging would be enough. Back in the summer of 2009 I thought get the heads of housing estates under threat talking to each other and the problem will go away, the councils will have to back down.

Read the rest of this entry »


I attended a showing of Estate: a Reverie by Andrea Luka Zimmerman on Wednesday evening at the Tate Modern. Following the film an interesting discussion took place among six interested parties and from the audio I have transcribed some excerpts as shown below.

Read the rest of this entry »