Over 50 built-environment organisations have called on Government to reinstate a reference to the Garden City principles that were removed in the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, released in March.
The organisations include local authorities, professional bodies, trade associations, charities, developers and designers were all signatories on a joint statement issued by the Town and County Planning Association (TCPA), which want Government to back its support for those delivering new Garden Villages, Towns and Cities. Current RIBA President Ben Derbyshire’s firm, HTA Design LLP, was one of the signatories calling for reinstatement of the Garden City principles.
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, such as new settlements or extensions to villages or towns.
The NPPF offers essential guidance for local authorities in their planning decision-making and is a significant influencer for ensuring high placemaking standards.
A commitment to the Garden City principles is not set out anywhere else in government policy. The omission is worrying when so many local authorities and delivery companies are working to bring on Garden Communities, which have cross-sector and cross-party support.
TCPA Chief Executive, Kate Henderson, said: “Meeting the nation’s housing needs involves more than just delivering housing units; 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. It also provides resources for the long-term stewardship and maintenance of a high-quality public realm and high-quality community facilities.
“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.
“We recognise the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to building communities the nation can be proud of, and we urge the government to ensure the Garden City principles are reinstated in the NPPF.”
NaCSBA has confirmed that it will be also including a reference to the deleted reference in its submission to the draft revised NPPF consultation.
We’re seeing an ever greater emphasis on communities influencing the planning process, and Garden Communities embrace this by default.
The principles also stress the importance of a diverse mix of housing types and tenures to placemaking, and Custom Build can, and should be, a very real part of this mix. It’s already happening on some Garden Towns, such as Aylesbury, but should be a feature on all new planned communities, giving greater choice and flexibility for residents to live in homes that reflect their lives.
Photo credit: Letchwort Garden Town Spirella building, Peter O’Connor/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/