Tower blocks 'should be bulldozed'
High-rise housing blocks should be bulldozed and replaced with terraced homes to help tackle social problems and remove "no-go" areas, a think-tank report has argued.
About 140,000 households with children live on the second floor or above in England, despite evidence that multi-storey flats attract higher crime rates and social breakdown, said the paper published by the centre-right Policy Exchange.
It claimed that terraced streets and low-rise flats could achieve the same density of housing as high-rises and that 260,000 new homes could be built in London in seven years by demolishing tower blocks in the capital.
The paper's author, Nicholas Boys Smith, warned that residents of such estates - mostly social tenants - suffered more stress, mental health problems and marriage breakdowns.
High-rises could also pose fire dangers and were more expensive to build and maintain, he said.
Mr Boys Smith said: "It's time we ripped down the mistakes of the past and started building proper streets where people want to live. We must not repeat mistakes by building housing which makes people's lives a misery.
"Bulldozing the high-rise tower blocks and no-go zone estates and replacing them with terraced homes and low-rise flats is the best way to build both the number and the quality of homes that we need."
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Ministers have scrapped the last government's Whitehall targets which forced local authorities to build high-density flats rather than family homes and attractive terraces.
"Good design is vital to avoid the mistakes of the last century that lead to ugly and crime-ridden tower blocks.
"Communities can now use their own Neighbourhood Plans to decide themselves what type and design of homes are built in their area and their councils should actively support them in this process."