April 25th, 2012
One of my readers has asked the question in the title by way of Google. Here is the answer.
[I know about Castleford but either they've got forced air ventilation - yuk - or the local planning authority got it badly wrong.]
They were banned in 1909 by act of parliament for being unhealthy to live in, in fact they were first banned by several Northern cities in the 19th century . . .
A bill was introduced into the Commons in 1841 containing a clause to outlaw back-to-backs. Following sustained opposition by builders (and indeed the Town Clerk of Leeds) on the grounds that rents would have to rise and would be unaffordable to many working class people, driving them into lodging houses, the entire Bill was dropped in 1842.
[the same excuse used by modern house builders in 2012 about space standards, that if they built bigger houses, the potential buyers would be unable to afford them and so the builders go on building toy town estates. Hence the urgent need for regulation across both public and private sectors - Ed.]
In Manchester and Liverpool, for example, back-to-backs were banned in 1844 and 1861 respectively; no plans for back -to- backs were approved for Bradford after 1870; and in Birmingham they were banned in 1876 . . .
only Leeds went on building the wretched things in any number and did so until 1937 having obtained planning permission just prior to the implementation of the Act on May 1st 1909. Details on my B2B page linked from the title menu above.
It worries me a little that Capita are looking this up. On whose behalf are they acting?