Attack of the clones?

A massive new wave of fast-track housebuilding further threatens the local identity of the growth areas unless effective new tools are put in place quickly to build on local character and heritage, says Michael Mehaffy. Under deputy prime minister John Prescott's Sustainable Communities agenda, the South-East is targeted for a wave of 500,000 new homes, and more are on the way elsewhere. Fast-track planning approval processes and offsite production methods are key aspects of the plan, as it seeks to encourage more affordable housing.

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