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Garden Communities report

19 November 2018
Reading Time: 2 mins

Following a Roundtable event hosted by Burges Salmon, Place, Pace and Productivity was the theme for the launch of the garden communities report by UKBCSD and our partners, LDA-Design. The Roundtable panel had agreed three strategic directions for further research by UKBCSD, which were detailed in the report which focused on delivering differently. The resulting three propositions offer practical ways to shake up the planning and development culture that could so easily fall into the trap of delivering more of the same:

1.Infrastructure First Planning initiated by a Planning Pilot, supported and promoted by the government to demonstrate how we can align infrastructure and land use planning activities to enhance delivery

  1. Bringing garden communities into the 21st century. Garden communities have the potential to have a catalytic effect on productivity as the UK makes its way post-Brexit. A cross-departmental developer competition could result in Housing delivery and UK Industrial Strategy objectives being integrated to promote the creation of ‘places that work’.
  2. Delivery action plans offer the opportunity to bridge the gap between planning and implementation, ensuring that through collaboration between delivery parties, garden communities live up to their promise.

The discussion focussed on delivery and this timely report presents a case for delivering differently if we are to achieve the aspiration of creating sustainable places, fulfilling the livelihood and lifestyle needs of future communities. Our guest speaker for the evening was Lynda Addison OBE, an experienced practitioner whose tenacity in bringing forward one of the earliest garden village concepts, was tempered with caution as we have yet to see a new Garden settlement delivered in the UK.

The dinner guests welcomed the report, recommending additional priorities for action crucial for promoting certainty for all stakeholders:

Accessible = Sustainable: priority must be given to accessible locations, to avoid inhibiting sustainability.

Take the people with us: community engagement is critical but collectively we have a poor track record of doing this, with some appalling quality in the past. We must improve communication, delivering fearless, non-adversarial engagement with people.

Accentuate the positives: a commercial strategy for Garden Communities is needed that articulates the benefits for people and society (akin to what David Attenborough did for Plastics)

Culture Change

It was agreed that Planning should be ‘professionalised’, giving more power to officers and a greater, holistic focus on delivery. This must address where we want to be hence collaborative working across disciplines is critical, to give credible, transformational delivery.

One coherent voice

The launch guests agreed that bringing the Business community closer to Government on this agenda, is an important next step for UKBCSD.

We wish to extend our thanks to the following organisations for their contributions to the debate at this Launch event:

Anglian Water


Axis Land Partnerships

BSRIA Sustainable Construction Group

Burges Salmon


Caledonian Modular

Carr Development Consultancy Ltd

Cornwall Council

Engie UK & Ireland

Federation of Master Builders

Garden Cities Development CIC


Longhurst Group

Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government

Town & Country Planning Association

UK Regeneration

Click here for a copy of the full report “Place, Pace and Productivity: Delivering Garden Communities”

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