This week you may have been a recipient of Sutton Council’s latest copy of Sutton Scene. The leading item was a video presented by Councillor Jayne McCoy – Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of the Housing Economy & Business Committee.
During the video, presented from the garden and interior of one of the new “Council Houses” she extolled the virtues of the London Borough of Sutton and it’s commitment to “affordable housing”. The house she presented from looked outstanding but then you begin to consider and perhaps count the cost, the picture may not look quite so virtuous.
The agenda for the next Housing Economy & Business Committee has been published and includes the costs of the 93 “units” that have been built.
Richmond Green houses come in at a total expenditure of £7.737 million, nearly £370,000 per house excluding land value. Now consider that 12 of those are two bedroomed houses and the value for money equation becomes an irrelevance. And it is not just the appalling and profligate cost of demolishing 28 serviceable bungalows and replacing them with 21 new houses .
This is not some green field site, these houses have been built so close to existing properties – many inside the limits of Planning Guidelines – yet no provision has been made to protect the privacy of those residents. Everyone attending Public Consultations and Planning meetings came away with the impression that their privacy would be protected by obscure glazing. No, the Council’s only provision for obscure glazing is between the new houses and the privacy of just one existing resident.
In her (self) promotional video, Councillor McCoy talks of more sites, more Council houses – if it is next door to you, involve yourself in the Public Consultation and read the small print!
And Sutton Council, obscure glazing is the very least you could offer the residents of Chiswick and Twickenham Closes.