Soaring Levels of ‘Garden Grabbing’
Date: 29 Jun 2007
Too many homes are being built on land that was previously a garden, according the Island’s MP Andrew Turner. The latest Government statistics show soaring levels of ‘garden grabbing’ - where property developers snap up family houses with gardens, knock them down and replace them with flats or high density housing.
Under planning rules introduced by John Prescott, gardens are classed as brownfield sites - just like a derelict factory – meaning a presumption in favour of development. Local councils find it difficult to refuse planning permission without the risk of their decision being overturned by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. Sometimes hefty costs are awarded against them.
Andrew Turner said:
“Many of my constituents are concerned about local gardens disappearing under a sea of concrete. These planning rules which put residential gardens on a par with derelict factories and gasworks are quite simply wrong. Power has been taken from local councils and passed to unelected regional bodies whose key objective is to ensure that Government guidelines are adhered to.
“And it is not as if homes are being built for local people. Too often the wrong type of property is being built and the new housing js too expensive for Islanders.
“As well as making our towns and villages less pleasant to live in, the ever-expanding concrete jungle allows fewer opportunities for rain water to soak away naturally. In this week when terrible floods have ravaged many parts of the country it is clear that the Government should think hard about how they can close this loop-hole”.
New dwellings on previously residential land, as a proportion of all new dwellings
1997 (%) 2004 (%) 2005 (%)
East Midlands 8 9 11
East of England 13 16 20
London 13 13 16
North East 6 10 9
North West 7 10 12
South East 16 26 30
South West 13 18 25
West Mids 11 12 16
Yorks & Humber 7 14 17
England 11 15 18
Hansard, 24 May 2007, col 1524W.
END Contact : Andrew Turner’s office 01983 530808