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29
same time, it would be most undesirable for local authorities in rural
, districts to adopt the Model Bye­laws as they stand, as in some
respects they are quite unsuitable for application in the country.
1 Under this head may be mentioned the rules laid down for the
construction of the walls of domestic buildings up to 100 feet in
height, which would be ridiculous in the country. The open space
( at the rear is altogether inadequate, and the section dealing with
drainage requires re-modelling.
, A Choice of Evils.
I In towns and urban districts authorities attempting to carry out
Part III. of the Act are limited to a choice of evils. They may
either build dwellings upon sanitary principles, with a due propor-
‘ tion of light and air per head of the occupants, and with a proper
, regard to domestic convenience and requirements, regardless of cost,
” or they may endeavor to place within the reach of the wage­earner
a dwelling which will compete with that erected by private enter-
prize, with the minimum of regard for the claims of health.
l It is impossible to build in crowded districts so that both require-
ments may be fuliilled. Authorities have hitherto abandoned the
first and adopted the second alternative.
In order to make the most of the land, buildings are carried up
to a great height, with the result that many more people are housed
per acre than formerly. High buildings are very objectionable ; they
‘ entail much more work of a tiring kind in carrying food and other
goods up to the respective floors, and the stairs are very trying,
O? especially to old people. High buildings prevent the proper circula-
tion of air and admission of light to the lower floors and surrounding
streets and yards. Statistics point to the fact that the death­rate is
1 highest on the lowest floors and decreases towards the top.
· Legal Overcrowding.
, Existing law permits overcrowding on area to an alarming extent.
g In many instances, old rookeries were far superior in point of air ,
Y ` space to the new model dwellings which have replaced them.
The London Building Act, 1894, permits the erection of high
* block dwellings with an insufficient air space in yards and areas
attached thereto. L
I The opportunities of legal overcrowding under the above- [
mentioned Act, and the tendency of public bodies to avail them- i
" selves of the same, are shown by the recent competition for plans of 1
J tenement blocks to be erected on the Millbank plot by the London ‘
1 County Council. The first prize in this competition was awarded to .
8 a set of designs which provided accommodation at the rate of 481
~°" persons per acre, or about 163 persons per acre in excess of the
ï Council’s earlier buildings on the Bethnal Green site, or nearly nine H
times the density of persons per acre in the whole of London. I
i The importance of these figures-supplied by Mr. Robert Williams ,
4 ­-must be evident when it is borne in mind that, other things being 1
, equal, the denser the population, the higher the death-rate.
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