Brexit: Landscape and Amenity

Challenges

- Any recession could hit construction and the landscape sector hard. Landscape architects are already seeing upcoming projects cancelled or put on hold.

- High-end garden designers could be hit by the reported fall in the London luxury property market.

- Skills shortages are still landscape contractors' biggest concern and would be made worse should free movement end. Design school students may be affected by free-movement changes and many Europeans employed by garden design firms are considering whether to leave.

- Some 70 per cent of environmental regulations at risk.

- If the UK wants to retain European market access it could be forced to retain EU legislation but would lose influence over standards.

- European funding - from nature conservation to research into pesticide alternatives - is at risk, with university research set to lose out.

Opportunities

- Government may invest in infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail to offset recessionary pressures.

- Non-EU countries still have access to research funding from European initiatives such as Horizon2020.

Comment

Garden designer Janine Pattison

"It's easy to be all doom and gloom. But the reality is, having not only survived but thrived as a practice through the recession of 2008 by working exceptionally hard and offering an outstanding level of service, our attitude is 'business as usual'. The world will keep on turning. Above all, we need to focus on training, training, training. We have a responsibility to continually develop the skills and capabilities of the teams we employ."

Landscape architect, Noel Farrer

"The European Landscape Convention and the legislation on clean water, pollution, recycling and fishing to name a few are the (majority) of the environmental legislation that holds UK people to account on environment. The UK Government does not and will not legislate responsibly towards our landscapes as it is practically impossible to do so within our legislature based on a five-year cycle and the needs for short-term financial returns."

BALI chief executive Wayne Grills

"Our members, whether suppliers, contractors or designers, are still full on. If there is a recession the industry tends to be six-to-12 months behind. Most contractors are booked up until the end of the year if not early next year ... EU nationals are concerned about their jobs and whether, if they go on holiday, they will be allowed back in. It's at the forefront of their minds."


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