A hard-hitting report by the Greater London Assembly (GLA) has rev-ealed that around two-thirds of London’s front gardens have been paved over. It also demands new laws to enable councils to protect front gardens.
The report, issued today (1 September) by the GLA environment committee, is the first serious investigation into the importance of front gardens.
Research revealed that around three per cent of London’s ground space is made up of front gardens, but two-thirds of these are covered by paving, bricks, concrete or gravel. In most cases, these have been turned into parking bays.
The report states that this increases flooding, because the hard surfaces will not retain water. Streets without trees and greenery are also “more noisy, windy and dusty” and appear wider, resulting in higher driving speeds.
The report asked the mayor of London to encourage the use of porous materials. It urged that the issue of front gardens should be part of the London Plan, which sets strategic objectives.
At present, allowing a front garden to be used as parking, is considered “permitted development” and planning permission is given automatically. The report suggests it should be easier for councils to suspend this permission.
Committee chair Darren Johnson said: “We want to allow local councils to introduce tighter protection.”
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins
Sign up now