Architect Raymond Gorbing on housing density in Stevenage

'...They would say 'look that’s the amount of money you’ve got to build a house' if you like, 'building 600 houses that's the amount of money you’ve got.'...'

Stevenage Museum

Leonard Vincent, Raymond Gorbing, Tom Carter, Owen Roberts
From the book First New Town by Jack Balchin


The type of house i.e. the terrace opposed to detached was obviously geared to the cost of or the amount of land available and the density of the housing. You know and be also geared to the rental that the people coming out of London could pay to live in those houses

It was decided from time to time and changed, you will find in the different neighbourhoods it was changed um an the reason, one of the reasons it was changed was the cost of building changed all the time, and it changed because of various factors, one of the main factors and I can always remember and it will always stick in my mind was the availability of materials.

If you go around Stevenage new town, quite an interesting exercise you can see in the different areas the different types of houses, smaller houses and you can see the materials on those houses, you can see some houses with prefabricated panels and that sort of thing.

When in fact bricks weren’t available, you couldn’t get bricks at those times.

Yes, and there was a very strict criteria on price laid done by the ministry.

They would say look that’s the amount of money you’ve got to build a house if you like, building 600 houses that’s the amount of money you’ve got. And we had to stick very closely to the sort of financial restraints that the government put on us on that on those times.

Raymond Gorbing 1987

This page was added on 06/05/2015.

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