HTA campaign aims for big impact in UK amenity sector

Next week’s Labour Party launch of an HTA campaign will give a massive boost to amenity growers and will be fought until it is won, says its figurehead.

HTA director general David Gwyther said a successful Greening the UK campaign would result in softer urban and infrastructure schemes and have huge impact. “It’s the biggest thing for amenity growers who haven’t had much help over the years,” he said. “Funding is in place, and it will last until we have won the battle.” Communities and local government secretary Hazel Blears will launch the push at the Labour Party conference. It targets planners on levels of landscape and maintenance and the policing of green pledges from developers (HW, 6 September). Gwyther said the timing of the campaign was crucial as it “chimed” with the Government’s support for a greener planning process. “The Government lays claim to want to be greener and if our campaign works you will see better urban and infrastructure schemes: the impact is potentially huge.” An HTA strategy paper said local authorities must enforce delivery of green spaces and use “exemplar” procurement processes and policy in developing green spaces. The campaign would tackle ministers and media outlets at a “top-down” level, while a “bottom-up” attack would focus on support from associations and local authorities. Gwyther said the campaign fund stood at around £60,000 and would grow to pay for a sustained onslaught. Campaign co-ordinator Mark Glover said: “The objective is to get local authorities to ensure greater specification of green space within their planning documents.”

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