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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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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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