I was delighted to read the demolition of modern methods of construction (MMC) by Sir Digby Jones. The practice of bureaucrats deciding what is modern and what isn’t without criteria or supporting science is wasteful.

To tie these lists to taxpayers’ cash is scandalous and it’s time the true costs were untangled. MMC-built “affordable homes” are as expensive as anything on the market. Now homeowners worry about whether their homes will last as long as their mortgages and the prospect of overheating in summer.

We support Sir Digby’s call for a guaranteed life of 200 years, coupled with enough thermal mass to cope with hotter summers without retrofitting air-conditioning. The 60 years called for in design briefs and the Green Guide is a joke.

Let us incorporate these in a set of performance standards against which all materials and systems can compete. Off site and on site both have a role – let the market decide without the skew of subsidy and let’s work together to train people to build more safely and efficiently in sufficient numbers that satisfy the urgent need for housing.

Martin Clarke, chairman, Modern Masonry Alliance