Last Tuesday was the Letchworth Heritage Foundation Town Meeting. This year a large part of the meeting was spent discussing housing, with the Foundation explaining why it thinks 1,500 houses will be a good thing for the town. As might be expected, there were many in the audience that still had concerns about the new housing.
If we are to have new housing, Transition Town Letchworth would like the houses constructed to be as energy efficient as possible and we want to see developments that re-enforce community and a low carbon lifestyle.
But how do you have affordable homes, with reasonably sized gardens when land is so expensive? Its a challenge! Take a look at the Barretts consultation on the GE King site on Blackhorse Road (photo above); how does this compare to your vision for a ‘garden city’ development?
Perhaps its time for Letchworth to lead the way again. What was clear from the meeting is the town is full of ideas and expertise, so is it time to come together and produce our vision for how to extend a garden city? For example, could co-housing, where people have their own home but also some shared garden areas, provide a way to give people access to larger green spaces?…
Could Walter Segal’s idea for self-build houses that ‘anyone’ could construct, be updated and provide a way to reduce the cost of first time homes in Letchworth? What urban design would give us a place where it is pleasant to walk, ride our bikes and for children to play safely? Perhaps in new developments, less land will be sold with each individual property so properties are affordable, but to balance this a part of the land must be retained by the heritage and then developed to give the green spaces, paths and cycle ways that will ensure that Letchworth remains a garden city. Contact us if you would like to join us to explore a vision for extending a garden city.
The meeting ended with a comment that we need to look not only at new housing but we should be improving the energy efficiency of our existing homes. TTL have a series of talks to address this and at our Home Energy Improvers group meetings on Monday nights, we will be sharing learning on a variety of topics. See our calendar for more details. All are welcome to join us at Mrs Howard Hall from 7:30pm.