MP calls for action over back gardens planning loophole

PUBLISHED: 13:32 14 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

New figures obtained by MP Andrew Lansley show that 32 per cent of new homes in South Cambridgeshire are being built on former back gardens. The figures were revealed as a Conservative Bill to close a planning loophole that defines gardens as brownfield s

New figures obtained by MP Andrew Lansley show that 32 per cent of new homes in South Cambridgeshire are being built on former back gardens.

The figures were revealed as a Conservative Bill to close a planning loophole that defines gardens as brownfield sites comes back to the House of Commons tomorrow (Friday).

Under present planning rules, because gardens are classed as brownfield sites - in the same way as derelict factories or railway sidings - it is difficult for local councils to refuse planning permission without the risk of the decision being overturned by the Planning Inspectorate, which enforces Government planning policy.

The loophole has led to mature family homes being demolished and replaced by apartment blocks and car parks covering the whole site - house and garden included.

Mr Lansley said: "It is vital we change planning law to recognise that gardens are green space and need to be protected.

"Constant loss of gardens in Cambridge and our villages will alter the character of where we live, unless we ensure that planning law is more balanced.

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