Planning blamed for social issues

Binge drinking is caused by housing developments starved of natural open spaces, a broadcaster and environmentalist has claimed.

Professor Chris Baines said planning leaders who proposed three million new homes in the next decade were ignoring the “quality of childhood”. He told last week’s Growing with Nature conference in Peterborough: “If you get the place right for kids, it will be good for everybody. We regularly give grants of up to £250,000 to build play areas we know will become bullying areas. “The binge-drinking culture is about a society that does not know how to measure risks. You have to learn young that once you’ve taken a step too far in the pond, water will seep over the top of your wellies.” He quoted Lord Jones, ex-director general of the Confederation of British Industry: “A society where kids don’t climb trees is one where people can’t learn to make judgements. And if you can’t do that where will the entrepreneurs come from?”

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