All aboard the flat-pack express

Horror in UK as Ikea plans to stock 500 units in 'warehouse-style' outlets

Could architecture be consigned to ‘thinking inside the box’ ? As WAN launches its House of the Year Awards, designed to showcase excellence within our industry, the UK Government has announced far reaching relaxations in planning requirements, along with encouragement for developers to utilize more flat pack housing - all part of a ‘speeding-up’ process to meet the unprecedented demand set out in the Barker Review on Housing Supply 2004 and more recently Land use planning, December 2006. The prospect of Ikea flat pack houses has met with derision in the UK press this week as plans were unveiled for an estate of BoKlok units in Gateshead. However serious concerns are being raised at the possibility of collapsing standards. Arguing their case, the UK Government has said that unless the housebuilding programme is accelerated, the proportion of 30 year old couples able to afford their own home would fall from 50% today to 30% in 10 years time.

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