It’s been a while since we did a major painting and decorating job on the house, in fact it was just before our son was born, so approaching a decade. We wanted to have a fresh start for our new family member. To keep things neutral, even-handed, we chose Old English White for the walls and generic eggshell white for the woodwork. With colours like that and a young son careering round the place as he grows up, scuffing the paintwork, things have become a little jaded recently and maybe could do with some attention, even though budgets are tighter than they used to be. When I was younger than my son is now, back in the 1950’s, my dad used to talk about how few wall colours were available before WW2 if you didn’t want to spend lots of money on covering over the cracks with wallpaper. Funny how things like this set your mind running.
This was just like the Local Plan process. A borough council, with long-serving councillors and officers becoming jaded and a bit worn out, as the bumptious youngsters in the current government career around the place looking for ways to stimulate the economy while cutting back spending in the local authorities. A bit of smartening up of the planning system would help us all feel a bit better, so they paper over the cracks of the recession with the NPPF and its sparkling new on-line guidance to try and stimulate development and growth with a house building-led economic package. The problem is local authorities have so many different papers for covering the cracks, the SHLAA paper, the SHMA paper, the GBCS paper, the ELA paper, the Settlement Hierarchy paper, the Sustainability Assessment paper and so on and in the end they’re all such poor quality they won’t do the job; there’s nothing for it but a bit of painting over. It doesn’t matter what the people that live here say, there’s only one colour that’ll do the job; whitewash.