60 Seconds: The Green Green Grass of Homes



60 Seconds: The Green Green Grass of Homes


You know you ought to raise an eyebrow at the draft London Plan when the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) publicly supports it…

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the role of London’s Mayor is to champion London and Londoners alike, why doesn’t he step up, do what’s really needed and loosen up our metropolitan green belt?

Not only has his draft plan placated the CPRE, but it will no doubt please the good burghers of Hillingdon, Havering and Bromley, all of which are Conservative Boroughs. Strange considering he’s a Labour Mayor.

Anyway – back to the green belt. Of course, reform would need to be careful and comprehensive. Our open land has a positive environmental impact on London. Not to mention, the fact that we all cherish the surprisingly quick transition between the inner city to acres of countryside in just a short train ride.

greenGrassNevertheless, this preciousness over green belt has pervaded for too long. Longer than I care to remember.

As part of Mayor Khan’s vision, a third of all new housing planned in the capital will be built on small sites including back gardens and upwards extensions of existing houses, apartment blocks and shops.

Whilst loosening the limitations on building density is a welcome move (although has anyone told the boroughs?); why can it not be accompanied by loosening restrictions on the green belt?

The answer is simple: it is political dynamite.

Centre for Cities’ 2014 report, ‘Delivering change: building homes where we need them’, calculated that if just 60% of green belt land within 2km of a train station in Greater London was developed into suburban housing, London could build an additional 432,000 homes. In other words, London could finally meet its housing need.

Protection of the green belt has led to over-protection, and at a high price. We are downgrading the quality of London housing, downgrading the quality of life, and exacerbating London’s housing shortage, all to conserve a few green fields and even some not-so-green fields – which shouldn’t be the priority in our nation’s capital.

And if the Campaign to Protect Rural England kicks up a fuss? Let them. This isn’t rural England, this is London!

Have a great weekend.


This week at Curtin&Co

This week we were delighted to be part of the project team who secured planning consent for 96 homes in High Peak on behalf of Sherwood homes. Leonie English, a member of the Sherwood team, said that after working with Curtin&Co, “The result we wanted was achieved by the next planning committee meeting”. A great result and congratulations to everyone involved!
The week ahead

Khan he do it?
Mayor vows to protect ‘the lungs of the capital’

Park life 
British buyers pay a £116,500 premium to live in a national park

Work hard pay hard
London’s house price to salary ratio has hit a record high

Breaking newts!
DNA test curbs newts’ power to block homes

And finally…

Upon this rock…
Church must use land holdings to promote affordable housing

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288