The UK government are to relax planning rules for a ‘limited period’ in order to ‘boost the economy’.
Revitalising the Georgian suburban dream ties in very nicely with the Georgian economic mind of Chancellor George and maybe it is the greater emphasis of the ‘Great’ in Great Britain in a year it can celebrate itself due to the Olympics that has so easily persuaded the government that the UK is actually in competition with the rest of the world and building a Jerusalem to the exacting standards of Margot Leadbetter is what is needed.
In following the desperate bletherings of a thinktank employee, who has been put on the spot without reference material, these planning proposals further diminishes a flagging respect for what was ‘Great’ in Great Britain – reasoned intelligent progressive innovative thinking – based on scientific or academic research.
Total ignorance of any signed treaties or conventions and a blinkered PR reactive approach to policy making has always led to extra costs, not least because of protest (which costs the taxpayer hugely). When it affects what the English clearly have a passion for beyond the comprehension of its neighbours, its landscape – actual costs will be very high indeed. So to curtail protest, curtail the NGOs and instead threaten that landscape of England that is largely unprotected and heavily under researched as it stands anyway – the garden landscape.
The garden landscape is an increasingly important yet fragile landscape in terms of a sustainable future. It is a vitally important habitat in the UK, as it is both more common and prevalent than anywhere else in Europe. But it is a landscape that lacks a voice, asides from that of celebrity – and it would not be a great surprise if these relaxed planning rules had been born out of reviewing TV viewing figures during the period ‘Garden Force’ was on.
And for the boost to the economy by increased sales of magnetic signs highlighting ‘extensions built’ slapped onto the side of rogue trader vans, what will the cost be?
We are 177 days away from the new European wide legislation to tackle the illegal timber trade, which in turn seems to have upped its game to make the most of the remaining time left. What will the overlap be between the ‘limited period’ and the new laws – enough to ensure a large quantity of illegal timber is sourced to help create Osbornes’ conservatories?
Britain has, largely due to limited space, had an enviable reputation with regards soil sealing in comparison with all its European neighbours, as well of course because it has much greater threats from surface water run off contributing to flooding in built up areas. Risks to this reputation have been reduced by new law in regards the use of front gardens – is this why there is implicit information with regards the construction into rear gardens in the governments plans? And soil sealing – the destruction of the most vital material on the planet towards a sustainable future for all is ignored.
Osbornes’ conservatories will become a legacy. A time when rational thinking was ignored and desperation ruled the day. A new landscape will be born, it will be an ugly one as good design and purpose is thrown aside. It will be a landscape that remains as a reminder of a time when Britain made one last stand against all sensible advice and not only replace Custer’s unenviable position or the ‘Charge of Light Brigade’ in literature but have the scars forever dotted across peri urban England.