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A Tiny Shard Of Truth

The Growth Corridor, or whatever the plan for colossal and unsustainable development between Newbury and Cambridge is called this week, has been attracting favourable reviews at MIPIM UK. The property industry annual festival at Olympia has been looking at the plan to dump a million homes, a 100-mil...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 18 October 2018

An Appeal To Reason

The debate over third-party rights of appeal in the planning system seems to have broken out again in Scotland with a great deal of fresh energy. For the benefit of those who find better things to do with their time than examine the minutiae of the planning process, the basic position is that the UK...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 September 2018

Truths, Damned Truths And Projections

I wonder whether there is relief or regret around the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government over the decision last year to transfer responsibility for household growth projections to the Office of National Statistics. The projections, officially the basis of policies demanding the bu...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 September 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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