Mill Hill East Transport (before the bean counters cut it all)


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Planning Resource: "Consultancy calls for London 'Green Belt Commission'"

"A 'Green Belt Commission' should be established to decide where development could be allowed on currently protected land around London, according to engineering consultancy AECOM.

"The firm made the call in a report setting out its vision for maintaining London’s global competitiveness over the next 50 years.

"Big, Bold, Global, Connected – London 2065 [loads PDF file] calls for the formal creation of a London City Region, which would include anywhere within 90km of the heart of the capital.

"The report says a Green Belt Commission should be created to carry out a major review of possible sites for housing development. It says:
"Although the green belt policy is still valid, today it is failing to meet the scale and needs of the 21st century London City Region. Much of it provides significant ecological, environmental, visual and amenity function, but there are areas that should be subject to review and may assist in achieving sustainable urban growth.

This is a true regional challenge. The Metropolitan Green Belt has to be seen in its entirety and any review lifted from local consideration – with the establishment of a commission looking at its overall value to the capital and not solely the local value."
It also says that certain sites should be used to develop 'Garden Villages' on the edge of the capital. It report says:
"Green belt land without landscape, recreational or environmental protection, yet highly connected within a 15-20 minute walk of existing Tube and rail lines would be a focus.

"As new settlements or extensions to existing communities, these Garden Villages would be built with particular attention to their setting and the opportunities to open up access to the green belt for recreation."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Planning Resource: "London councils 'should carry out green belt reviews'"

"London's reserves of brownfield land will not be enough to meet rising housing demand and councils should look to review green belt in their areas to provide for more homes, a report has recommended."

"The Green Belt: A Place for Londoners?, by SERC at the London School of Economics, Quod planning consultancy, and business group London First, argues that argues that [sic] it is unrealistic to assume that building on brownfield sites will provide sufficient land to meet London’s housing need.

It says London’s boroughs 'should be encouraged to review their green belt and consider how the land within it can be most effectively used and what the options are for re-designating a small fraction for new homes'.

The document says that the starting point for any green belt review 'should be to only consider areas that are close to existing or future transport nodes, that are of poor environmental or civic value and could better serve London’s needs by supporting sustainable, high-quality, well-designed residential development that incorporates truly accessible green space'.

The report also highlights key facts on the London’s green belt including:

  • A quarter of the land inside London’s green belt (within the area of the Greater London Authority) is environmentally designated land, parks, or land with real public access.
  • 27.6 per cent of London is covered by buildings, roads, paths, and railways.
  • 22 per cent of all the land within London’s boundary is green belt.
  • Around 60 per cent of London’s green belt is within 2km of an existing rail or tube station.

Barney Stringer, a director at Quod said:
"We need to make the most of brownfield sites, but if we want to protect the quality of London for the growing number of people who live in London, then we can’t continue to rule out sensible reviews of the green belt boundaries."

Sunday, 18 January 2015

City Metric: "7 London boroughs are more than 25% green belt"

Link to web site

"Ask whether it's time to re-think Britain's green belts, as we often do in these parts, and you're likely to get a mixed response. Part of your audience – the younger, more urban, more-likely-to-be-private-tenants part – will cheer you on. But a significant minority will call you all sorts of names, accuse you of being in the pocket of the construction industry, and probably at some point blame immigration.

"Such is life. But since this debate isn't going to go away any time soon, we thought it might be worth injecting some figures into it. Let’s consider the Metropolitan Green Belt which has restricted London’s growth since 1938.

"There are 33 boroughs in London, of which no fewer than 19 have at least some protected Green Belt land within them. This chart shows the size of those 19 by area (total bar length), and the proportion of each which is designated as Green Belt (the bit that's, well, green). We’ve taken our data from government figures, hosted here."

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

BBC: "Low-energy urbanisation 'can help climate goals'"

Link to web site

"A study of 274 cities has helped shed light on energy consumption in urban areas and what can be done to make future urbanisation more efficient.

"Globally, cities are best placed to mitigate emissions as urban areas are much more energy intensive than rural areas, say researchers.

"Most people now live in urban areas, a trend that is accelerating as the global population continues to grow.

"The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."