Planning: Horticulture

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 29th April 2009.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration she has given to strengthening the role of horticulture in (a) local development frameworks and (b) regional spatial strategies; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

We have no plans to strengthen the inclusion of horticulture in local development frameworks and regional spatial strategies. 'Planning Policy Guidance note 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation, 2002' (PPG17) already states that local planning authorities should make robust assessments of the needs of their communities for all open spaces of public value, which, by definition, includes parks and gardens, allotments, and city (urban) farms.

Local authorities should use the information gained from their assessments of needs and opportunities to set locally derived standards for the provision of open space. These should form the basis for addressing the amount and quality of open space through the planning process. PPG17 also states that standards should be included in development plans, i.e. local development frameworks and regional spatial strategies.

In March this year, CLG contributed £1 million to the cost of training and employment for the first year of 60 additional horticultural apprenticeship places in some of the most deprived urban local authorities. This action complements CABE Space's work to raise skills across the green space sector.

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