Industry says eco-town green space standards are not enough

Industry figures have slammed new government eco-town standards, which have stipulated that at least 40 per cent of each site must be allocated to green space.

Half of that space must be public and consist of well-managed, high-quality green spaces linked to the wider countryside, housing minister Caroline Flint said as she unveiled a progress report on eco-towns.

But critics say the green space standard does not go far enough to set a strong example to developers and the international community.

Landscape planning consultant Ian Philips, who represents the Landscape Institute on the Town & Country Planning Association's eco-town working group, said the headline figures weren't innovative: "This is not particularly groundbreaking and I'm not convinced what we are seeing here is going to set an example to the world. We're pushing the concept of green infrastructure, which should be accessible and contribute to the green network in terms of biodiversity."

He added that the Government needed to provide more detailed standards to developers, such as street-tree planting to offset the urban heat island effect, or using green space multi-functionally, such as a location for ground source heat-pump installation.

GreenSpace chief executive Paul Bramhill said a figure of around 20 per cent of public green space was average for most towns and cities: "It sounds as though it is promoting the status quo but we should be looking at innovative ways of managing it and trying to get communities more involved."

In south Cambridgeshire, English Partnerships' proposed 9,500-home town Northstowe is set to allocate a third of its total area to public space.

BALI technical director Neil Huck said the UK was still lagging behind its European counterparts: "There seems to be more of a will in Europe and that has got to change, particularly in high-density urban areas."

Further consultation will take place from September on the potential eco-towns, with the final list of sites chosen for development to be announced in January 2009.

The HTA is campaigning for local authorities to push for more green space in new developments.

ECO-TOWN FACTS

  • - There are 13 potential locations shortlisted.
  • - Up to 10 will make the grade - to be decided in early 2009.
  • - Chosen locations will have to go through local authority planning processes.
  • - Up to five eco-towns will be built by 2016 and another five by 2020.
  • - Each eco-town will have bet-ween 5,000 and 20,000 homes.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.


 
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer