The Government is to introduce changes to the planning rules to offer safeguards against "garden grabbing." Gardens will be reclassified from their "brownfield land" category which means that councils will be able to reject planning applications to build on them. The problem has been the pressure to meet a target for new "housing units." So developers might build up one family home and its garden and build a block of flats on the site. 180,000 homes have been built in the past five years on gardens or other land which already had an adjoining property.
Planners say stopping garden grabbing would mean more development on greenfield sites – which had never been built on. "If it's garden grabbing out, then it may be countryside grabbing in," says the Planning Officers Society. Hmmm. There is still lots of scuzzy wasteland around the place. Also even if what the Society said was true wouldn't it be a net gain to have the houses built in the country side rather than in our cities which are already terribly dense with little green space?
The Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark is bringing in the changes that the Labour Government talked about but did nothing. The DCLG team do strike me as setting the pace since the election in terms of the getting on witth the radical changes the country needs.