Commenting on the call by Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister, to build new garden cities, Ingrid Samuel, Historic Environment Director at the National Trust, said:
“We are strong supporters of the local planning system, so when the Deputy Prime Minister voices his support for large scale new development we welcome his commitment to ensuring that decisions will be locally-led.
“Nevertheless, the major challenge for Government will be to find the sites that have local support, are in the right location and on the right sort of land for this kind of development.
“The National Trust believes that land is a precious resource and must be used and managed sustainably to produce the greatest public benefit.
“As a nation we must be careful to safeguard the productive capability of land for future generations across a range of areas: water, carbon, soils, biodiversity, development, recreation, culture and heritage, food.
“Any development on this kind of scale will need to respect this fact if it is to deliver the kinds of benefits Mr Clegg talks about, without destroying the countryside.
“We welcome the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to mixed use developments which support integrated transport infrastructure and urban green space, and built to the highest energy conservation standards. This should be the level of commitment we seek to achieve within all our towns, cities and villages too.
“Like everyone with an interest in this area, we will look at the promised prospectus carefully when it’s published.”