"A research institute which believes replacing council tower blocks with conventional terraces makes both social and economic sense is gaining influence, and not just among Conservatives"
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"Create Streets describes itself as a 'non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute'. It argues, it advises, it engages in debate and it wants to get involved with actual housing development too. Last year, it made a large impact on the instructive controversy over the Mount Pleasant Royal Mail sorting office site in Clerkenwell. Working with the local residents of the Mount Pleasant Association, it produced an alternative proposal for developing the land to the one that eventually received planning permission from Boris Johnson after he over-rode the various objections of Camden and Islington councils.
Presented as 'a case study of how streets are more popular, more prosperous and a better investment', its aesthetics inspired a rave review in the Evening Standard from the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins, a former deputy chairman of English Heritage, while its financial calculations offered more affordable housing, including for social rent, than was being proposed by the Royal Mail Group (RMG) at the time.
The study also elaborated the Create Streets view that housing and streetscapes of the types it recommends align better social outcomes with superior 'long-term value-generation for landowners'. In other words, as well as being nicer for human beings, 'traditional' or 'conventional' developments make more money than sky-pricking megaliths in the end, partly because they are less expensive to build and to maintain and partly because people want them more. Furthermore, it demonstrates that high density housing does not have to be either high rise or inelegant and a recipe for urban decay. It is often forgotten that the highest density housing in London is in Chelsea and Notting Hill."