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Garden grabbing planning reforms overdue

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by Gill Montia

The Department for Communities and Local Government is claiming that new figures justify concerns over the number of gardens “grabbed” for development in the last 12 years.

According to Decentralisation Minister, Greg Clark, the percentage of new homes built on previously residential land, which includes back gardens, has increased to 25%, up 14% since 1997, when only one in ten homes was built on similar land.

Last month, planning rules were changed and gardens taken out of the brownfield category, which includes derelict factories and disused railway sidings.

The move gives councils the ability to prevent unwanted development on gardens where local people object.

Mr Clark sums up: “For years local people were powerless to do anything about the blight of garden grabbing as the character of their neighbourhoods was destroyed and their wishes ignored.”

He adds: “Now we’ve changed the classification of garden land, councils and communities will no longer have their decisions constantly overruled, and will have the power to work with industry to shape future development that is appropriate for their area.”

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News posted: August 9, 2010

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