Declares that the quality of life of residents is harmed by the designation of garden land as brownfield land, because it allows inappropriate development to take place. Suburban back gardens have ecological, environmental and social value that should be protected from unwanted development.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon Her Majesty's Government to change planning policy guidance and planning law to allow local councils to develop and implement planning policies that protect private gardens from development which is out of character with the surrounding area.
During the passage of the Planning Act in November 2008, the Government committed to carry out a review to establish the nature and extent of development on garden land. We said that if the evidence confirmed a problem we would look at how best to remedy the situation, provided that any changes should not have the effect of undermining our policy objectives on housing. On 19 January the Government published the results of the review and announced that planning policy statement 3 had been strengthened, to make it clear that there is no presumption that land that is previously developed is suitable for development, or that all of the curtilage should be developed.
In doing so we have reinforced the message in planning policy statement 3 that local authorities are best placed to consider whether different types of land are suitable for housing. The power to take the decision on whether to grant applications for development on gardens lies with local authorities. The local authorities need to be able to defend decisions on any planning application, whether for garden land or otherwise, based on established strong local policies.