Will we see tree-lined streets on all new developments?
Since MP Mr Chris Clarkson brought a Private Members Bill to the House of Commons on 15th July that wishes to enforce the planting of tree-lined streets on all new developments, the Government has indicated that it intends to make this law. The Housing Secretary, MP Robert Jenrick has made it clear that although planning permission will be simpler to get, a better quality of developments will be required.
The new White Paper; Planning for Future proposes that all new streets should be tree-lined and “all new homes to be carbon-neutral by 2050, with no new homes delivered under the new system needing to be retrofitted”.
This is great news – trees bring multiple benefits for all those who live, work and play in the area. However, overwhelming evidence shows that it is only healthy established trees which can bring these benefits; so how can we guarantee that every tree has the chance to achieve long term potential?
And what defines a tree-lined street? One tree per 10 metres? Both sides of the street? What tree species? And how long are the trees supposed to live for? These issues need clarification, as too often great designs are value engineered and poor street scenes ensue.
Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton Brown, told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “Whilst I’m all in favour of building more houses, they need to be good quality houses, we’ve got to be really sure we’re not building slums of tomorrow by building today at low quality.”
Well, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that any plant form will thrive, we can help even the odds by intelligent planting methodologies – understanding the needs of the trees. Trees are easy to keep happy – just give them enough uncompacted soil, water and air and a bit of care and maintenance. This really means enough space above and below ground – which brings tree requirements into direct conflict with the build densities needed to turn a profit for housebuilders.
GreenBlue Urban has been working with local authorities, landscape architects and developers for over 30 years to establish future urban landscapes. By innovation and research, we have hugely increased the chances of tree survival and improved the lives of tens of thousands of residents. Simply by replicating the forest floor natural environments in which trees thrive, urban tree mortality rates have crashed, and healthy canopies continue to provide biodiversity, stormwater interception, cooling and shade, wind protection, oxygen production and many other benefits.
Our passion is underpinned by planning for the long term with numerous global case studies that reflect our innovative solutions – continuous work and education programmes enable us to reach out and to build trust to collaborate with all partners to ensure Green Infrastructure from the very start.