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Murder In Midsomershire

Readers who enjoy a good mystery story should hasten to read the latest Government public relations exercise on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The latest one was slipped out as part of the Spring Statement which itself got very little coverage while MPs brawled and battled over Brexit. And it really is f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 17 March 2019

 

Spring Is Here, Time To Stop Birds Nesting

You can tell spring is coming. All over the country house builders are wrapping hedges in nets to stop birds nesting in them, so as to prevent bird lovers from delaying their plans for profitable, low-density, greenfield sprawl. Early spring is, of course, the time of year to do this before that pes...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 11 March 2019

 

The Arc Is A Fight That Must Be Won

So, the race is on to build the first stretch of the London Outer M25 and it looks as if the top-quality farmland in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire could play host to the first 10-mile stretch of the new High Carbon Collar around the capital. Highways England this month announced the route for its ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 February 2019

 

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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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