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Dommy Nation

Back in December, this blog predicted the Government is about to launch a fresh onslaught on the planning system in England, with the aim of stripping local planning authorities of any remaining powers to control house building. This was no piece of clairvoyance on my part or because I-apos-d hacked...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 February 2020

 

High-megalomania Rail

There is something about the open countryside between Aylesbury and Rugby that brings out the megalomania in railway promoters. In the 1890s it was the chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, Edward Watkin, who promoted a fast, high-capacity main line south through Nottingham...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 February 2020

 

Prepare To Defend The Environment

Action stations. The Government is preparing to launch a major onslaught on the planning system in England. On Monday, the Policy Exchange think-tank, long an advocate of bashing up the planning system, published a report called Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century. The
Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 January 2020

 

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ABOUT SMART GROWTH?

Smart Growth UK is an informal coalition of organisations and individuals who seek to promote the Smart Growth approach in the United Kingdom.

The Smart Growth philosophy is an internationally recognised approach whose elements are designed to support one another to produce better environmental, social and economic outcomes. First developed in North America in response to hypersprawl and over-dependency on cars, it incorporates the best approaches to planning from all over the planet.

In the UK, however, entrenched attitudes are destroying our countryside unnecessarily, gridlocking our roads and causing massive and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Car-dependent urban sprawl has been our default development mode for far too long.

There is a better way.

In 2013 the organisations supporting SGUK agreed a set of principles to guide its work:-

Urban areas work best when they are compact, with densities appropriate to local circumstances but generally significantly higher than low-density suburbia and avoiding high-rise. In addition to higher density, layouts are needed that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport so that they become the norm.

  • We need to reduce our dependence on private motor vehicles by improving public transport, rail-based where possible, and concentrating development in urban areas.
  • We should protect the countryside, farmland, natural beauty, open space, soil and biodiversity, avoiding urban sprawl and out-of-town development.
  • We should protect and promote local distinctiveness and character and our heritage, respecting and making best use of historic buildings, street forms and settlement patterns.
  • We should prioritize regeneration in urban areas and regions where it is needed, emphasising brownfield-first and promoting town centres with a healthy mix of facilities.
  • Civic involvement and local economic activity improve the health of communities.
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