One of the eight key features that people need and want from their homes is public open space, particularly in urban areas.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a new report “The way we live now: What people need and expect from their homes”. The research, carried out on behalf of RIBA by Ipsos MORI, found that;
‘Regardless of age, household type or location, private space outside, or access to green public space, was important to most participants, this was because it was considered essential for wellbeing.’
We have been promoting the importance of publically accessible green spaces for years and homebuyers recognise the benefits of these spaces too. Access to open space is vital for health and wellbeing, they can reduce stress and anxiety and provide places for sport and recreation for young and old alike. I hope that the major house builders take on these findings to build homes that will really make people happier and healthier both now and in the future.
Just in case any major house builders happen to be reading… check out these standards:
Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard (ANGSt) recommend:
- No person should live more than 300m from their nearest area of natural greenspace of at least 2ha in size
- At least one accessible 20ha site within 2km of home
- One accessible 100ha site within 5km of home
- One accessible 500ha site within 10km of home
- Provision of at least 1ha of Local Nature Reserve per 1,000 people
The Woodland Trust’s Woodland Access Standard aspires:
- That no person should live more than 500m from at least one area of accessible woodland of no less than 2ha in size
- That there should also be at least one area of accessible woodland of no less than 20ha within 4km (8km round trip) of people’s homes
If you are not a major house builder you may just want to include these standards in your neighbourhood plan!
Victoria Bankes Price, Conservation Adviser (Planning)