Housing estates to apply for Green Flags

Pilot scheme to allow social housing estates to apply for Green Flags.

Housing estate gardens are next in line for government help to make them more attractive and less dangerous places for residents. Parks consultants Sid Sullivan and Bob Ivison revealed at last week’s Neighbourhoods Green conference in London that they are to run a pilot scheme to allow social housing estates to apply for Green Flags. Neighbourhoods Green is part-funded by the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) and is a featured project within the Cleaner Safer Greener Communities campaign. Sullivan said: “This might be a tipping point to make the Government think more about parks and green space. Five million people live in social housing so we’ve got to build something that gives a purpose to where they’re actually living. [Registered social landlords] see the green landscape as the Cinderella service — but we all know what happened to Cinderella.” Ivison said there will be a pilot this summer in parallel with the Green Flag judging season, with four southern landlords and one in Gateshead. “Those we can bring up to scratch will make full applications in January 2008. In the first instance there will be only a handful — we’re starting from a low base.” Peabody Trust landscape and regeneration manager Mathew Frith said it was essential to do something for the spaces outside tenants’ doors, rather than just “the places down the road”. He added: “People who live in social housing are disproportionately disadvantaged with a high proportion of social issues. The majority of these places are crap.” DCLG liveability division deputy director Peter Matthew said Green Flags could be the driver for improving housing-estate green space.

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