Land Trust join forces to uphold Garden City principles

The Land Trust in partnership with over 50 organisations – including councils, professional bodies, trade associations, charities, developers and designers – are calling on the government to reinstate a reference to Garden City principles in the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), demonstrating its continued support for those delivering new Garden Villages, Towns and Cities.

The current NPPF requires local authorities to consider whether large-scale development (such as new settlements or extensions to existing villages or towns) which follows the principles of Garden Cities is ‘the best way’ of achieving sustainable development in their area.

The NPPF provides essential guidance for local authorities in their decision-making processes and is vital in securing high placemaking standards. A commitment to the Garden City principles is not set out anywhere else in government policy.

The joint statement reads: “The nation faces an acute housing crisis. To address it we must urgently build the high-quality homes and communities that we need at a price people can afford.

“Meeting the nation’s housing needs involves more than just delivering housing unites – we need to create beautiful places which offer a wide range of employment opportunities and genuinely affordable homes, while enabling more sustainable lifestyles. The Garden City principles can deliver all this and are underpinned by a financial model which not only enables fast delivery but puts people at the heart of delivering new places and provides the resources for the long-term stewardship and maintenance of a high-quality public realm and high-quality community facilities.

“The current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) commits to the Garden City principles by making them a consideration when planning for growth and new communities. We are disappointed to see that the draft revised NPPF, published for consultation on 5 March 2018, has deleted reference to these important standards. The NPPF is the key expression of government policy, and this commitment to the Garden City principles is not set out elsewhere. The NPPF is essential guidance for local authorities in their decision-making processes and is vital for negotiations on land prices and in securing high place-making standards.

“This deletion has caused uncertainty across the sector on the status of the Garden City principles, particularly when many local authorities, communities and the private sector have made a commitment of delivering new Garden Villages, Towns and Cities, and the government has announced the delivery of a further five new Garden Towns.

“We are calling on the government to reinstate the reference to Garden City principles in the revised NPPF, demonstrating the government’s continued support for those delivering new Garden Villages, Towns and Cities.

“Re-committing to the Garden City principles in the NPPF is the starting point to unlocking a new generation of highly sustainable places that meet housing, employment and quality of life needs while promoting innovation. There is cross-sector and cross-party support for such measures, and we urge the government to act now to secure an inclusive and resilient future for the nation.”

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