Government moves to safeguard green spaces

The government has proposed to reclassify gardens currently listed as brownfield land in order to protect them from developers.

According to BBC News, the practice of garden grabbing – where builders construct houses on green spaces – has become increasingly common in recent years.

Government figures show that the proportion of homes built on formerly residential land has risen from one in ten in 1997 to one in four in 2008.

Construction firms are now targeting gardens marked as brownfield sites due to the reduced cost of preparing them for development in comparison to former railway or industrial facilities.

However, former deputy prime minister John Prescott told BBC Radio 4s Today programme that the motives behind the proposals were wrong.

He said such a move would put the wishes of a few millionaires ahead of the needs of the many families who need affordable housing.

Meanwhile, the Royal Horticultural Society recently reported that its Garden Wisley Plant Centre has a new star attraction – a duck that is nesting in one of its hanging baskets.