The percentage of new homes built on previously residential land – which includes back gardens – has increased to 25 per cent, up 14 percentage points since 1997, when only one in ten homes was built on similar land.
Last month, Greg Clark changed the planning rules to give councils new powers to prevent unwanted garden grabbing by taking gardens out of the brownfield category that includes derelict factories and disused railway sidings.
Many councils had been left frustrated at the increasing amount of inappropriate development on gardens which they have been unable to prevent. Taking gardens out of the brownfield category will dramatically transform councils’ ability to prevent unwanted development on gardens where local people object and protect the character of their neighbourhoods.
Mr Clark said:
"For years local people were powerless to do anything about the blight of garden grabbing as the character of their neighbourhoods was destroyed and their wishes ignored.
"We can see from these statistics that last year an even higher proportion of homes were built on previously residential land, which includes back gardens. Building on gardens robs communities of green breathing space, safe places for children to play and havens for urban wildlife.
"It was ridiculous that gardens were classified in the same group as derelict factories and disused railway sidings. Now we’ve changed the classification of garden land, councils and communities will no longer have their decisions constantly overruled, and will have the power to work with industry to shape future development that is appropriate for their area."
Have your say on this story using the comment section below.