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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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PRESS RELEASE Garden Towns and Villages

Added on 04 May 2017

A new report from the Smart Growth UK coalition on the Government&rsquos programme for garden towns and villages has found there is little to distinguish them from traditional greenfield sprawl and they have serious sustainability shortcomings.

The report includes input from some of the community bodies opposing the developments and says the high moral tone of promoters is at odds with the reality of their proposals. Most of the 10 garden towns and 14 garden villages endorsed by the Department for Communities and Local Government are simply existing urban extension proposals rebadged, with added &ldquogreen-wash&rdquo.

The garden towns are mostly agglomerations of existing urban extension plans, often miles apart and having little or no relationship to one another. They are not towns at all, in fact several are simply blobs of urban sprawl outside more than one existing town.

Only three out of 14 garden villages meet DCLG&rsquos stipulation that they should be new settlements. Few of the garden towns or villages make much use of brownfield land and most are predominantly or wholly greenfield. Most would place heavy demands on local infrastructure.

Adherence to the &ldquogarden city&rdquo principle of low-density development means all of them are set to be basically car-dependent. There is virtually no sign of the transit-oriented development that modern sustainable development demands and they would add to local traffic congestion.

Even if all 24 were ever completed, they would make very little contribution to housing shortages and few are located in areas of greatest need. Some include substantial employment space &ndash but this would just increase housing demand in areas where local people are already finding it hard to find homes for their families. Others would create thousands more homes in areas of low-demand and stagnant markets.

They are supposed to enjoy &ldquocommunity support&rdquo but local opposition is growing despite the heavily moralistic tone of their promoters. The report recommends a Smart Growth alternative approach for meeting our housing needs.

Report

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