MP wins a second reading for Bill to protect urban gardens

A Bill protecting city gardens will have a second chance in Parliament.

Conservative MP Greg Clark has won a second chance to present his Bill to protect garden land from high-density housing development. The reading will be on 14 July. The Protection of Private Gardens (Housing Development) Bill came before Parliament last week. Clark said the Government was forced to reveal that it was secretly trying to stop the Bill. He added: “All along, the Government has given the impression that it wasn’t against the Bill. Even Tony Blair seemed to give his support. “The good news is that the Bill lives to fight another day. It has cross-party support. People are appalled by the sheer scale of back- garden housing development.” Last month, Clark told Blair that, according to government figures, 72 per cent of housing development is now on brownfield sites. “But two-thirds of that is accounted for not by brown land but by beautiful, green, environmentally important gardens,” he said. Blair replied: “The figure of more than 70 per cent is well up on the figure of just over 50 per cent that we inherited, according to the same definitions.” Developers such as Charterhouse Homes are advertising in national magazines for gardens that they can buy to build houses on. Charterhouse marketing manager Linda Watson said: “We don’t believe the Bill will come in. We don’t force people to sell gardens. What’s the alternative? If you make everything greenfield, you drive housing further out of urban areas. We have to build somewhere because there’s a lack of housing.”

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