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So, to praise Gaia we’re going to change British architecture:

Salad shortages? They don’t worry me – I grow my own in a 8x5m plot. You can, too
Alessandro Vitale

When vegetable shortages hit supermarkets earlier this month, I was probably less concerned than most salad lovers. I’ve been an urban gardener for seven years, growing my own food in an 8x5m space in London.

Tear down those stack a prole Brezhneviki! Build the des res with front and back garden again!

Hang the planners and put the British in the housing the British want to have. Why not?

14 thoughts on “Oh, Cool!”

  1. Can we ask Alessandro how many tomatoes she picked from her urban garden last week? Or Cucumbers? Or lettuce?

  2. I had assumed Alessandro was a bloke from the ‘o’ at the end, but these days such assumptions can get one into serious trouble. Even with Plod.

  3. How much is 40sqm of land in London worth? I know it varies enormously depending on whereabouts in London is under discussion, but how does it compare to paying an extra 50p for some tomatoes?

    What Tim misses is that the planners have entirely succeeded in what they were trying to do — London is now full of the kind of people willing to put up with living in horrible, cramped and overpriced (whether to the resident or the taxpayer) housing. The people who won’t rise up when the government takes away freedoms, and is far more likely to complain about said freedoms not being removed hard/fast enough. The government doesn’t care about the opinions of those outside London because they are unlikely to become a critical mass sufficient to cause them personal inconvenience.

    Peeps who want that des res, who are willing to invest their time, money and effort into building an actual community (cf. a The Community), who might be willing to stick their necks out if the government do anything too drastic are evicted to outside the M25.

  4. What’s that, BB? Planners are trying to ruin Brissie? How very dare they? We’ve lived there and liked it just fine as it was. Still, you’ll always have the river. And those lovely Jacarandas. We had a mango tree in our garden. Ah!

    But the snakes, eh? Still, enough about your politicians.

  5. I don’t know how people get the housing they want. If they get the housing that is built for them by big construction companies, they’ll get a tiny patch of land that’s shaded out by the boundary fence for most of the day. Good luck with lettuces then.

  6. ‘But the snakes, eh? Still, enough about your politicians.’

    You really know your (or at least our) politicians, dearieme.

  7. This kind of stuff annoys me. The absolute bare minimum that anyone thinks you can get away with for self sufficiency is about one acre per head, probably twice that. An acre has 4,047 sqm so with 40 sqm she can feed herself a balanced diet for less that 1% of the year, let’s say four days absolute max.

    This is also why The Good Life pisses me off (other than Tom being an appalling human being). For the two of them they would have needed at least two acres of garden which even in Surbiton would have been unusual

  8. “Peeps who want that des res, who are willing to invest their time, money and effort into building an actual community (cf. a The Community), who might be willing to stick their necks out if the government do anything too drastic are evicted to outside the M25.”
    I can tell you that was the internal policy objective of London’s major housing association, over 15 years ago. The priority was to move from the smaller one & two bedroom properties – their occupants to be encouraged to take up offers of assisted purchase schemes outside the GLA – in favour of larger multiple bedroom properties suitable for large families. Properties were being sold & properties bought on an ongoing rollover as tenancies could be cleared.
    Now, that I was told was the priority of the GLA from where the directive had come. Now interestingly, that comes well before Sadiq Khan. It’s actually during the Borisian Accendency & commenced during the Livingstone Dictatorship. And continues until now. Which does tend to prove that what Mayor of London is elected makes no effin’ difference whatsoever. Because you will still get the same shit whoever. There isn’t anything really political about the London Mayoralty. It’s just a figurehead. Like the country is actually run by the Civil Service, the GLA’s run by it’s own permanent administrators. Ultimately you get what policies they favour because they pull the levers.

  9. The initial Freehold Land Societies formed plots of one acre, based on that being sufficient to provide a basic sufficiency in vegetables (apparently worked out from studies during the Napoleonic Wars) – but the expectation was that everything else would be bought in, meat, milk, bread, beer, etc. Though the more important point was that one acre of land met the 40 Shilling imputed rental value, so gave the owner the vote.

  10. BIS,

    “There isn’t anything really political about the London Mayoralty. It’s just a figurehead”

    If you google “what powers does the mayor of london have”, you find articles with lots of “assisting the government” and “setting the strategic direction” on various things, which are just noise. In truth, all the Mayor is in charge of public transport and that’s about it.

    Any time Khan makes a speech about something that isn’t public transport, it’s irrelevant.

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