In your article “Whitehall gets a royal warning over fast-track housebuilding” (26 November, page 16), Prince Charles is quoted as saying:
“The fast building movement will strangle the world unless we look at diversity above mass production.” Whoever is supplying the prince with information about the design flexibility of homes made off site is either grossly ignorant of the facts or using him to spread terminological inexactitudes in support of vested interest.
I suggest those who briefed the prince should contact the housing division of the car maker Toyota to find out how the design appeal of its homes in Japan compares with traditionally built ones. If Prince Charles’ advisers investigate thoroughly, they will discover that Toyota’s homes are “mass customised” to meet each buyer’s requirements. They will also discover that compared with traditionally built homes, they are made to higher quality standards, are much safer to build (scaffolding is not required), waste less material (about 20 times less than a typical traditional building site in the UK), tend to be cheaper to run and easy to recycle.
John Prewer, via email