Sunday, 25 July 2010

Changes to Planning Legislation - Will New Houses Get Larger Gardens?

I’ve lived in my current house in Bracknell, Berkshire for longer than I originally intended and am considering moving – I need a bit more space. It will be with great regret that I leave this house. I bought it because it has a lovely feel to it and a great sized garden – not too dauntingly huge, but large enough to create some interesting, distinct areas and grow loads of plants. I’ve got room for two sheds, a greenhouse, three seating areas at different levels, a herb garden, a pergola and plenty of interesting plants. I’ve spent countless hours excavating, constructing the different levels (well, recently paying other people to do the construction), building the pergola, laying a pretty brick and pebble mosaic seating area, fiddling about with the planting and growing stuff in my greenhouse. I’ll hate to leave my garden; I love it and it gives me an emotional connection to this house.

However, looking around for a suitable new house has filled me with despair. I may be getting a detached house, and for that privilege I’ll have to pay a lot more, but they all seem to have miniscule gardens. What I really want is a detached three bedroom house that has a third reception room which I can use as an office, and a nice large garden. Such a property does not seem to exist. The main problem is that a lot of the new houses around Bracknell have tiny, in some cases almost non-existent gardens.

It was therefore encouraging to read in The Garden recently that the Government has decided to scrap housing density targets for councils that currently require 30 dwellings per hectare. This, according to Greg Clarke, Minister for Decentralisation, was forcing councils to build houses without gardens. The theory is that this will result in the creation of new houses with larger gardens.

I’m encouraged by the change in legislation, but call me skeptical if you will, when I say that I’m not convinced this will result in a sudden proliferation of new houses with generous-sized gardens. I think that developers will still try and maximize their profits, which means cramming as many houses as possible on any given piece of land.

If you'd like to talk to me about making the most of your garden, however small, contact me through my Web site.


Duncan Heather said...

I'm afraid I agree Linsey. I don't think there is a 'cat in hells chance' of houses being build with gardens as large as they were, back in the 70's & early 80's.

Do you remember the 70's housing estates that were built with open plan front gardens? This would be considered a massive waist of space today.

Good luck with the house hunting and I hope you find your next dream home soon.

Linsey said...

Thanks, Duncan.

In the meantime, I'll continue my quest to get residents of the new housing estates around Bracknell to give personality to their boxes with a great garden.