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Planning Practitioner Award Commendation

How does your garden grow? A stock take on planning for the Government’s Garden Communities programme

Mr Matthew Spry


Lachlan Anderson-Frank & Edward Clarke

(Lichfields, Think Tank)


Research Description

Lichfields has reviewed all 49 Garden Communities to establish a baseline to understand and assess the programme in the future. We find it is currently set to provide 403,000 homes, up to 182 new primary schools and 56 secondary schools, and 600 or more hectares of employment land - supporting 1.3m additional jobs to 2050. However there is some uncertainty, with 30% of homes yet to achieve formal planning status and two thirds still needing to establish the principle of development. Many Local Plans rely heavily on Garden Communities to sustain their housing requirements, but the programme is unlikely to reach critical mass of delivery until the 2030s. It also plays a dual role: endorsing the promotion of strategic sites; and supporting the implementation of extant permissions, but there is no particular template for the developments it supports. The report addresses the question of ‘What a Garden Community is?’


Full Entry Title

Anderson-Frank, L; Clarke, E; Spry, M. (2019) How does your garden grow? London, Lichfields

The Judges Said...

This is an important piece of research filling a key gap in understanding of the scope and likely impact of the Government’s Garden Communities approach in England, leading to a typically clear, relevant and readable report by Lichfields, one which has been deservedly well-publicised.