angry of dunroamin

England is inexplicably linked with housing. ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’, for example. Parry even wanted to build Jerusalem here in England’s green and pleasant land. Although he later decided to build Milton Keynes, after a friend pointed out that the Jerusalemians were quite happy in the current Jerusalem – although there was a twinning committee setup shortly after.

French houses have shutters. Dutch houses have canals outside. American houses have picket fences. English houses have decking and an occasional gnome.

It’s difficult to get exciting about housing.

That is until a slightly eccentric man from the West Country decides to build one out of Lego. And then another man decides that it has to be knocked down.

The news today featured the sad news that James May’s full-size lego house will be knocked down unless a buyer can be found sharpish. Legoland was interested until it found out that it would cost £50k to dismantle and rebuild the house in Windsor. This is absolutely absurd, of course, because building anything in Windsor is likely to cost at least 20 times that for anyone else wanting a neighbour who keeps Corgis and cornflakes in Tupperware*.

I think I have an answer though. Just the other day I was driving into a small town in Gloucestershire that looked like it hadn’t seen a paintbrush since we had a ruling King. Almost every house was boarded up, save one with a window box and fishing gnome sitting defiantly proud halfway up the garden path. Liverpool’s the same. And Wolverhampton. In fact, come to think of it, England’s full of these regeneration projects that are put on hold because of the staying-power of some of its residents.

3 years of council meetings, the tireless work of an entire planning department, and eventually Gordon Brown reaches into his pockets for a bit of funding. And then Mrs Stimpson, who normally writes in to The Telegraph letters page as ‘angry of Dunroamin’, holds everyone to ransom as she’s not moving out until the Daffodils in her herbaceous borders have finished flowering.

So I have a plan. Forget dismantling the house. Forget national news coverage showcasing the most exciting new-build since Mr Fraser decided on single rather than UPvc double-glazed front windows in Forest Drive, Billericay. Forget the eco-argument that a dozen polar bears will be saved everytime someone builds a cul de sac out of lego rather than bricks and mortar.

Just find an ‘angry of Dunroamin’ who wants a child-friendly, 100% blunt and Teletubby-coloured house. Let her move in, and I guarantee that house will still be standing in 2012 even if it was in the middle of the planned olympic velodrome.

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