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Planning For The Futile

The planning white paper sets a new path for English planning but, sad to say, mostly over a cliff. It has certainly proved controversial. Many organisations, including Smart Growth UK, will now be finalising their responses. But the white paper has provoked one question no-one seems able to provide...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 October 2020

 

Objectives And Objectivity

If the proposals in the Government planning white paper are adopted, would they reduce or further entrench the structural bias already embedded in the planning system which favours land owners, developers and maximum financial returns over non-economic issues and precautionary principles? One of the...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 12 October 2020

 

Mutant Thinking

The news that the proposed change in the way the Government calculates the level of house building it will impose on local communities would see numbers rise by 178 percent in Cumbria and no less than 933 percent in rural Richmondshire should surprise no-one. Dubbed the -apos-mutant algorithm-apos-,...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 03 October 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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