Tories pledge to reclassify gardens

Conservative Party's environmentalist questions building over of gardens.

Environmentalist Zac Goldsmith has said the Conservative Party will reclassify gardens as greenfield land if it comes to power. Conservative Party environment policy group deputy head Zac Goldsmith said it is “extraordinary” that gardens are being built on by developers. He added: “The answer is to reclassify gardens as greenfield rather than brownfield land. Gardens are valuable on so many levels.” Goldsmith, who has set up a water policy sub-group led by landscape architect Kim Wilkie, believes concreting over gardens is a big part of Britain’s water problem. He said “slow water” — allowing water to drain slowly into the land — is a theory the group will release in its policy advice to Tory leader David Cameron, to be issued this July. Ecologist editor Goldsmith added: “Paving over gardens is short-sighted and not necessary. I’d like to see it relinquished as quickly as possible.” Tory MP Greg Clark’s Protection of Private Gardens Bill failed to be made law last year.

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