Little boxes’ progress
As I write, they’re taking down the scaffolding on the building site across the road from me. This time last year they’d already been working several months on knocking down the (far nicer) buildings that occupied some of the space. In December 2005, the heavy pile drivers were out, shaking the whole area. The worst nuisance was in the summer, when the builders were putting the roof on and blaring out Radio 2, the BBC’s monument to mindlessness: I had to spend the hottest July on record with my (double-glazed) window firmly closed, the sun blazing in, and the computer running.
It’s been on the market for a while, and is described by the estate agent as “A private new development offering a fine selection of nine individual apartments ideally situated for level access to town centre shops and amenities.” And given that we have lots of single-person households and a major shortage of space, I guess little boxes like these make sense.
The road I’m on goes diagonally up a hill. On the other side of the road is a stone wall, about 5 feet high, with a long drop on the far side to the building site, and the gardens of neighbouring buildings. The new flats are below the level of the road, so I look over them, and they presumably look over nothing much.
They have one interesting feature: grass roofs. And no car parking or even access, so there’s at least something that could attract good people to live there. But apparently the eventual inmates won’t have access to the roofs; neither do they have balconies, which seems like a missed opportunity for a little token luxury. Neither do they have solar panels: another missed opportunity. And they’re going to suffer dreadful noise. No thanks.