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A Globally Insignificant Economy

Take Out The Trash Day at the end of the Parliamentary sitting seems to have been pretty productive this year for those bits of Whitehall determined to cover England with car-dependent sprawl. It was more than just the NPPF that got slipped out. Among the many things which crept quietly out of the M...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 08 August 2018

 

Take Out The Trash Day

The last day before the Parliamentary summer recess is traditionally known in Whitehall as Take Out the Trash Day. You know, the day when they dump a vast amount of unpopular stuff in the public domain and scuttle off on their holidays before anyone can cry foul. The new English National Planning Po...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 27 July 2018

 

National Planning Policy Shame Work

Slipping out the new English National Planning Policy Statement in a written statement on the day before the summer recess as if he were ashamed of it, secretary of state James Brokenshire was at least clear about his motives. The new NPPF, he said, is fundamental to strengthening communities and to...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 25 July 2018

 

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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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