White elephants

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2013

The incredibly large and inappropriate houses graced by Penny's Signs at the entrance to Budleigh Salterton seem to have sold - that is, all but one.

These are truly white carbuncles on the face of an old friend and to my surprise someone seems to have been persuaded to buy them.

Which, given that the IMF considers UK property 30 per cent too high, is a risk. What is to be done with the last house if it does not sell, I wonder (I must write to Private Eye!).

I have to say that I feel that it should be demolished as it is a wonder how such an eyesore ever recceived planning permission.

It has taken far too long to sell, so that it has to be wondered whether these “white elephants” were for the benefit of the area at all when so many of its own people are “priced out” by the UK property market.

A draconian measure such as the threat of demolition would help ensure that developments were designed for the wider market where there is such a housing shortage, due above all to speculation and shortage of fair priced and available building land and the appropriation of first-time buyer homes by private landlords who then charge far too high private rents to tenants without any serious rights of tenure.

This is trapping “many of the people” in an unenviable cycle of “priced out” and yet paying the rents and thus the pensions of those richer than they while, I suspect, propping up the whole overpriced edifice.

Peter Hack


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