5th May 2017
National land management charity, the Land Trust has responded to the Communities and Local Government Committee's Housing White Paper consultation: ‘Fixing our broken housing market’, asking Government to not just focus on the quantity of houses required, but to create quality places, where people will want to live, work, play, prosper and invest.
The Land Trust believes that creating successful places requires incorporating good quality, well maintained green space and green infrastructure – and this is essential for building strong and healthy communities and economies.
The Land Trust recognises and supports the need for a more comprehensive planning system, to enable more development, but it highlights that all new schemes should provide their own additional parks and green open spaces rather than simply rely on other existing green spaces.
And importantly, with all the well-known benefits gained from well-maintained green spaces, Government must recognise that this can only be achieved through high quality management and the necessary structures, governance and funding mechanisms in place to ensure that they have a secure, sustainable long-term future. The correct planning system can be the enabler to making this happen.
A CLG committee already undertook a public parks inquiry during 2016, which clearly demonstrated the importance of parks and green spaces to society, for people’s health and wellbeing and their value to people, so the Land Trust urges DCLG to take this information into account when looking at improving the planning system to support the delivery of new homes and creating places to live, not just houses.
In its response, the Land Trust urges Government to ensure:
Euan Hall, Chief Executive of the Land Trust said “We are fully supportive of the need to build more homes, but it is vital that we create good quality places and not just build blocks of bricks and mortar. In our experience, good quality places incorporate good quality, well maintained green spaces. They are essential for a healthy nation, helping to build communities; boost local economies; be resilient to climate change and support people’s health and wellbeing.
We want to ensure that we create vibrant and strong communities, where people can come together, make and meet friends, learn new skills, support wildlife, enjoy nature and be healthy and happy. And by leading with place instead of housing numbers and having the right funding mechanisms in place, this can be achieved”.
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