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Winners, Losers And Litigants

Last week I wondered in this blog if the Government proposals for assessing what it chose to call housing need would provoke endless legal challenges. I was challenged myself, though mercifully not in the courts, by someone who pointed out there would be no danger of this as the consultation paper p...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 October 2017

 

Congestion, Capacity, Carbon, Confusion

Congestion, Capacity, Carbon are the priorities for national infrastructure. Or so the new National Infrastructure Commission report says. I think one could add another issue that needs to be addressed. Confusion. The Consultation on a National Infrastructure Assessment launched by the National Infr...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 13 October 2017

 

Bring On The Lawyers

Lawyer-led planning is probably not something anyone would want. But that could be the way we are heading. As our report this year demonstrated, Garden Towns and Garden Villages are neither towns nor villages. They tend to be low-density, car-dependent suburbs, unwanted by anyone except their develo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 11 October 2017

 

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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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