Movement on garden grabbing
By Vincenzo Capozzoli in Planning
Published: Sunday, 26 April 09 - 06:13 PM (GMT)
Last Updated: Sunday, 26 April 09 - 06:18 PM (GMT)
Following Conservative pressure during the recent Planning Bill, Labour Ministers have conceded that a review is needed into the extent of housing development on gardens (so-called 'garden grabbing'). This is a small but significant step since the Labour Government has previously been in denial that any problem exists.
Local people are increasingly powerless to protect the character of their neighbourhood, and communities are suffering from the extra burden being placed on local infrastructure. Labour's planning rules prevent the development of new homes that the public actually want - family homes with sufficient parking spaces and gardens for children to play in.
The Conservative party has been consistently calling for reforms to give councils more powers to stop unwanted infill development and garden grabbing in local communities. We have pledged to:
- Stop gardens being classified as brownfield land.
- Abolish Whitehall density targets and maximum parking standards (any guidelines should be a matter for councils' local discretion).
- Amend PPS3, returning to the 1992 wording of planning guidance. This gave explicit and flexible discretion to local councils to prevent over-development in local neighbourhoods, protect the character of an established residential area, and deter the speculative demolition of sound housing.