Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Housing Improvements: Lib Dem live in Cuckooland increasing tax burden

We have seen it so many times that every time we hear Lib Dem proposals regarding new legislation we expect to find more Cuckooland ideas and penalizing people who live in houses that are not energy efficient is one of them.

Most people live in houses that are not energy efficient not because they want to but because they are forced to do so given income levels and the reality of existing legislation including the process of planning applications.

To put plainly housing stock in London was mostly built ages ago at a time when there were no such concerns about energy efficiency or the technology did not exist to even talk about energy efficiency. If you live in an old property, no matter how much they talk about energy efficiency and no matter how much they tax you, the situation will not improve because the only way forward would be to demolish properties and build new properties from scratch that will include all the necessary energy saving qualities.

Try and improve your property and there comes a local authority telling you that you cannot do this or that you cannot do that because 'it would change the character of the area'. I did some reforms and built a new loft at a cost of £15,000 some years ago. Could I change the shape of the roof at the front of the house? No, I couldn't because the local planning authority would not allow me to do so. I lost thirty-three percent of the space that I could have gained and I couldn't implement energy saving measures and add insulation. I ended up with a loft that is too hot in summer and too cold in winter thanks to Lambeth Council.

Later on, Lambeth Council sent an inspection team to suggest possible home improvements. I reckon the best solution would be to get rid of the nonsensical regulations implemented by Lambeth Council and change the rules regarding housing to allow people to do the necessary changes. If you want to make efficient use of resources you have a choice: either to stick to character and this means keeping outdated features or you sacrifice outdated features to give way to fundamental improvements.

If you want to keep corpses lying around the city, you are going to run out of space for the living and this is exactly the problem we face in London where there are vast areas that are basically wasteland because the housing stock is outdated and energy inefficient. The irony of it all is that people celebrate odd new buildings as examples of modernity but then refuse to change what should be changed to have energy efficiency across the board without idiotic Lib Dem ideas that will only penalize property owners and will do nothing to improve our use of energy.

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