Eyesore, soul-sapping housing that short-changes the people who have to inhabit it is not the exception but the norm, according to a new report.

Only 18 per cent of new homes can be classed as “very good” or “good” and 27 per cent are of such poor quality that they should never have been given planning permission, according to an audit of 300 private housing developments conducted by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe).

Construction groups persist in providing identikit “houses built for nowhere, but found everywhere”, it says.

The survey by Cabe, found a concentration of eyesores in the West Midlands.

Some of the schemes surveyed were reminiscent of the worst practices of the 1960s, although they were put up between 2003 and last year. This was before changes to the planning system, including a key piece of government guidance – Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) – introduced last December. In theory, this should put design at the top of the housing agenda.

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