I read with interest your article on PPG3 and the effect it may have on couples contemplating starting a family (11 March, page 24). My own experience with PPG3 stems from being a father of twin boys of 13 months looking to move into a bigger property.
We looked at a new development in Surrey but were astonished to see what developers were offering for the not inconsiderable money that they were asking: a three-bedroom property, with no storage facilities whatsoever.
It may only be a small point but it was enough to put us off. Anyone with a young family knows that space is a big issue, so a property with nowhere to put a buggy is a non-starter. Also, don’t think about having more than one car-driving friend to visit because they wouldn’t have anywhere to park. Oh, and don’t get me started on what they describe as a garden.
The government’s drive for high-density living is commendable in the right circumstances but it doesn’t make sense as an across-the-board policy. The result is developers are able to charge more for a unit than they would normally get away with because all developers are offering the same thing.
It’s also worth noting that the traditional method of adding value to your property – by extending and reconfiguring – has in my limited experience disappeared.
Back to the original question, do I think high densities will stop people having children? No I don’t. But if you asked me whether a family would consider buying an older property that they could extend as their family grows rather than an all-singing, all-dancing new home developed under PPG3 – yes they would. Ignore semi-detached suburbia at your peril!
Neil Walters, via email