Parks close to new properties shrink 40% as builders say they can’t afford them | Inexperienced area

New properties have a dwindling quantity of inexperienced area as a result of property builders declare they can’t afford to construct parks, analysis has discovered.

Analysis from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) checked out information from the Office for National Statistics, information on the typical age of native housing inventory from Datadaptive and nationwide survey information on public perceptions of native inexperienced area from the federal government company Natural England.

It discovered that in contrast with the mid-Twentieth century, the quantity of inexperienced area close to new developments in England and Wales has declined since 2000.

For instance, in neighbourhoods the place many of the housing was constructed between 1930 and 1939, the median dimension of a neighbourhood’s nearest park was about 61,500 sq metres. The equal determine for developments dominated by post-2000 housing is 36,200 sq metres – a 40% decline. And between 2013 and 2021 the proportion of parks deemed to be in “good condition” slipped from 60% to simply over 40%.

Dr Alex Chapman, a senior researcher on the NEF, mentioned property builders had the higher hand in negotiations with councils over inexperienced area provision.

He informed the Guardian: “The broader planning arrangements around new developments mean developers can cite financial viability as a factor. If the council says it needs to build a huge park alongside the development the developer will say that it’s not financially viable.

“Sometimes the council can challenge this, but because of the pressure to build new houses from central government, the appeal will fail. The council won’t want to take part in a drawn out legal pursuit because they know they are on the back foot.”

Chapman identified that many giant housing builders have a revenue margin of about 15%, so there may be room to spend money on the property they construct to make it higher for individuals who stay in and round it. Instead, this revenue goes to shareholders.

“The golden age of building large parks near to homes was also the golden age of council housebuilding and I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” he mentioned.

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Not solely are new parks not being created, current parks lack authorized safety, so are being constructed on by builders.

Chapman mentioned: “Some of these developments being picked up by us are infill – some of these developments are being built on what would have been someone’s green space. This could be because the parks do not have legal status or protection, so they can be built on.”

One in three individuals in England do not need nature close to their residence, with little or no inexperienced area in any respect in among the most deprived areas.

Visiting nature has proved to be vital to wellbeing and well being however entry to it’s reducing. Analysis by the NEF discovered the decline in new inexperienced area provision after 2000 can now be related to at the least 9m fewer journeys to inexperienced area a yr, and people residing in developments constructed after 2000 had been about 5% much less more likely to go to inexperienced area as soon as every week after different key variables (deprivation, age and canine possession) had been accounted for.

The NEF is supporting a petition calling for a authorized proper to nature.

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