Civic Voice President, Griff Rhys Jones supports new report and says we must build brownfield first

Civic Voice president Griff Rhys Jones has today added his voice to the community groups fighting “garden communities” being imposed on them by the Government.

He has penned a powerful Foreword to a Smart Growth UK report mostly written by community groups around the country who are opposing garden towns and villages. Griff warns that, far from being utopias, these are disordered schemes that ignore local communities and would be located in unsustainable locations.

“We encounter proposals that are not going to answer local needs for housing at all, but will waste precious countryside by building low density sprawling estates and creating expensive houses. Brownfield land in England can accommodate one million houses, So get on with it and use that." he says. 

Griff warns that terms like “housing crisis” and “emergency” are being used to force through development of the countryside which fails to provide the affordable homes we need as a nation.

The report sets out detailed objections by six groups opposing Government-sponsored garden communities and four opposing large greenfield developments marketed as “garden villages” by their promoters.

“We need to recognize that people who urge care, caution and attention are not dwelling in the past,” says Griff. “They are protecting the future.”

He says the protests, assessments and legitimate concerns in the report make sober reading. 

Notes to editors: The report can be found at:-

Smart Growth UK is an informal coalition of national and local groups (including Civic Voice) and indiiduals who support the “Smart Growth” approach to spatial, transport and community

planning. Last year it published a report Garden Towns and Villages – Unwanted, Unnecessary and Unsustainable 

Press Contacts:
Civic Voice: Sarah James 0121 792 8177
Smart Growth UK: Jon Reeds 0208 773 2747/0793 251 6094

The report is available on the Smart Growth website here.