Campaign calls on councillors to make soft landscaping a priority

A campaign launched this week urged local authorities to give soft landscaping more priority in new developments.

Greening the UK campaign organisers have sent out a model motion to 80 London and municipal councils, which they hope will be accepted by councillors in the next two months.

The lobby, spearheaded by the HTA, aims to get councils to insist that at least two per cent of the budget for a new development must go on planting and green space.

Giving planning officials greater powers to crack down on developers who don't fulfil planned landscaping is a major part of the motion, along with emphasising the importance of planting to tackle the effects of climate change.

The motion, called Greening their Communities, also contains a clause that asks council assemblies to call on local MPs to raise the planting issue in Parliament.

Campaign organiser Mark Glover said the most crucial part of the scheme is getting the issue onto local authority agendas.

He said: "We'd love this model motion to be accepted (by councils), but it's more important to stimulate the debate.

"People say they want to be green, but it's all about replacing light bulbs; the actual green aspects, such as more planting, seem to be forgotten."

The motion is being sent out in waves; next week will see the campaign focus on lobbying county councils, with districts and unitaries following the week after.

HTA director of business development Tim Briercliffe said: "At a time when we're seeing less green planting in projects, it's an important campaign."

Planning Officers Society sustainability committee chairman Stephen Tapper said it has pledged to support the campaign, but added that developers also had a responsibility to deliver green space and needed to learn its benefits.

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