I’ve always tried to see the silver lining in every cloud, but am I the only one that sees the great potential of the current downturn?

The big seven housebuilders (which used to be the big 15 or so when I started a building project management degree in 2001) are not truly interested in building houses, are they? Surely they have bought cheap land, waited for the local councils to get desperate to meet government targets for new housing, and then got other people to build houses that don’t meet the spatial requirements for social housing set out in the sixties Parker Morris report.

There wouldn’t be a shortage of houses if everyone looking for a house had the option of building their own. They would employ the 100,000s of builders who have been building houses for the big seven. They might have to be a bit more careful if the person paying them is going to live in the house, though, but that can’t be a bad thing, can it? Shouldn’t we aspire to build houses of the quality you see in Germany, Sweden, Norway or Finland?

This letter may provoke angry responses defending the status quo but I also hope it will also inspire others looking for a change. Perhaps Persimmon, Barratt, Bovis Homes and Redrow will consider selling their land off in individual plots – they’ll get their money and they might even get a few clients asking them to build their homes!

Grant Carnegie-Brown