Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards 2019

United Kingdom Trowers & Hamlins LLP 18 LEGAL AWARDS 2019 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM including “off-site manufacture”, “modern methods of construction” or “pre-fabrication”. This review uniformly adopts the term pre-manufacture as a generic term to embrace all processes which reduce the level of onsite labour, intensity and delivery risk.” The report also recommended that: “The Construction Leadership Council should have strategic oversight of the implementation of these recommendations and evolve itself appropriately to co-ordinate and drive the process of delivering the required industry change programme set out in this review.” In fact that was the report’s recommendation number 1. Some unfortunate connotations associated with the word “modern” In the context of architecture the problem with the word “modern” when used in conjunction with the word “housing” is that it leads us to the industrialised building techniques, commonly referred to as “system building” that were used to construct the enormous housing estates that appeared throughout the UK during the 1960s. These schemes began with the best of intentions. At the time the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works said of system building: “The use of new and rapid methods of construction, standardising the use and production and building components with the greatest possible extent in securing the widespread dissemination of the best modern practices.” “High quality of finish both internally and externally… obtained because structural components, fittings and services can be manufactured and supervised under factory conditions are not subject to climatic and other hazards of an open site.” As a young architectural student in Manchester in the 1980s, I lived for a time in one such housing estate surrounding what were known as the “Hulme Crescents”. Hulme, Manchester When it was constructed in 1972 Hulme Crescents and its surrounding estates were the largest public housing development in Europe encompassing over 3000 deck-access homes (referred to as “streets in the sky”) with accommodation for over 13,000 people. Yet only two years after its opening, Manchester City Council deemed Hulme Crescents unsuitable for families and the housing scheme became adult only. Ayoung child had died after falling from a balcony and a petition had been launched by residents who wished to be rehoused from dangerous properties where cockroach and mice infestation had been a problem from the outset. In 1975 just three years after opening, a survey was conducted which found 96% of residents wanted to leave Hulme Crescents and be rehoused. In 1978 the chair of Manchester City Council’s Housing Committee said of Hulme Crescents: “An absolute disaster. It shouldn’t have been planned, it shouldn’t have been built”. In 1983 the MP for Manchester Central was quoted as saying: “Like most major authorities we had these system built estates thrust upon us. They are now a joke. They are falling around peoples’ shoulders. These systems were referred to by the experts and our advisors at the time as the panacea for all our housing problems. We have ended up with a complete disaster.” Cathederal Tower Floor Plans Level 5 Sleeping & Bathroom Pods Level 4 Access Level Level 5 Kitchen Pods

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