English Heritage (EH) is calling on local authorities to consider landscaping and public space before approving planning applications.
In order to preserve the character of an area, councils are advised to undertake a thorough analysis of what makes a suburb special — historically, architecturally and in terms of landscaping and layout — before allowing developers to build.
The call comes as part of EH’s guide, The Future of Historic Suburbs, urging councils to take a more “far sighted” approach to planning.
EH chief executive Simon Thurley said: “Some of our best-loved suburbs are being blighted by ill-planned incremental changes and inappropriate development.”
Councils were also urged to ensure that management of roads, pavements, verges, parks and public buildings of suburbs respected the character of the area.
“This trend can mean mature trees, hedges and traditional boundary walls are lost, as well as the pleasant sense of space that private gardens give to an area.”
He warned that “garden grabbing” was one of the many trends contributing to a loss of character.
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