It has been announced that Gregg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation, will outline on Wednesday plans to end cluttering of leafy residential areas by abolishing 'minimum density targets' for house building and at the same time that planning law is to change so that gardens are no longer classified as brownfield sites (Sunday Telegraph 6th June 2010).
John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, said that "this could well mean if its garden grabbing out, then it may be countryside grabbing in as the unabated demand for housing will still need to be met." Silvester also suggested "this may mean greater pressure on green belt land, contrary to the coalition Government's stated objective. But if green belts are to be sacroscant then an even greater pressure on countryside greenfield sites may be the result."
The Planning Officers Society, representing the most senior professionals and managers of planning functions in the English public sector, has offered to discuss the Governments' aspirations in an atempt to create a workable planning system.
John Silvester has been a member of the CLG Steering Group on the preparation of Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments and an adviser to CLG on back garden development.
See the PINS advice note on the interpretation of the new PPS3 at http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/pins/advice_for_insp/pss3_revision_on_garden_land.pdf