Measures to stop “garden grabbing” by property developers are to be announced today after mounting concern relating to high-density housing, reports the Times online. Click here for the full report.
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, will reveal new regulations to stop developers building on vast numbers of gardens. Developers will sometimes buy up one family house and gardens and build flats or three homes on the same site. Protesting residents have little success in blocking these developments as demand for social and private housing is high.
There is great pressure on the Authorities to provide more housing due to the shortage of properties in the country which means that permission is being granted to developers to build on land that may not be necessarily suitable. Gardens, in the past have been classed as ‘brown belt’ land (i.e. land that has already been built on), which means Councils have found it difficult to refuse planning permission for new builds on this type of land.
The Times report further sates that Greg Clark, the Planning Minister, is also to announce the abolition of minimum targets for the amount of housing in each area. Under current guidelines, as many as 30 homes need to be built on every hectare of developed land which makes it difficult for developers to get permission to build larger homes and gardens.
This will hopefully mean that we will see fewer high rise blocks, many of which have sprung up over the last few years, and small properties built on cramped spaces. Some planners have warned that the downside to this is that developers may start building on ‘greenbelt land’.
It is very important that the government has decided to step in and deal with this issue before it gets out of hand. Developers need to build on suitable land, building properties of a suitable standard. There have been way too many high rise blocks and small, cramped homes built over the last few years.
These government announcements are a step in the right direction, in order to bring about better quality housing, but the worry now is will development be permitted on greenbelt land? There is no question that there is a shortage of accommodation in the UK but how will the government deal with this issue if they are to restrict development?