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Motorway Madness

If anyone now doubts that the climate emergency is taking hold faster than even pessimists expected, they should look beyond recent gloomy stories about trillions of tonnes of ice having melted in recent decades and the rapid failure of the Greenland ice cap. They should simply look out of the windo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 25 August 2020

There May Be Trouble Ahead

I suppose I should be applying myself to the numbingly dreadful Planning White Paper, but we should not forget the other huge challenges ahead. The attempt to give house builders carte blanche to concrete our entire countryside is only one among several. The climate emergency is gathering pace and t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 10 August 2020

A Resumption In Favour Of Sustainable Development

The bizarre obsession with house building that has seized the Treasury, and its subordinates in the rest of Whitehall, for nearly 20 years will be something for historians of British planning to pore over in amazement. If you want to be a winner in the Government numbers game, remember to shout out ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 July 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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