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1933: Lofty ideals preclude the poor

Laura Maria Bevan (Colourised photo)

Letter to the Editor

The problem of houses with low rents is the same in the country as in the towns. The cottages built by local authorities are rented at 12s to 18s a week, which many, especially those nearing the end of their working days, are quite unable to pay.

I would suggest that the Ministry of Health should urge upon local authorities the necessity for waiving their bylaws wherever possible, or applying them with the elasticity of common sense. People are urged to build cottages by private enterprise, but the difficulties are innumerable if they are to be cheap.

I have been occupied for some months past with a scheme for building cottage flats for aged couples, widows, or single women, and after overcoming all other obstacles am told that my plans, accepted by the local council in every other particular, are to be rejected because, to comply with their bylaws, all rooms must be 8ft. high instead of 7ft. 6in., as shown in my plans.

All such restrictions add to the expense and make it more difficult to let cheaply. Surely old-age pensioners would prefer a happy little home to themselves with less lofty rooms to the alternative of the workhouse, or lodging with other people?

Laura Bevan, Weald Chase, Cuckfield, Sussex.

Note: Laura Maria Bevan (Polhill) c1833 - 1906 married to Richard Alex Bevan

The Times 3 October 1933

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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