Outdoor space 'incredibly valuable' to London buyers

Property developers have reacted to Sadiq Khan’s plans to make London one of the greenest cities on Earth.

Last month, the mayor of London announced a £9m Greener City Fund as the first step to help turn London into a National Park City.

Mr Khan’s fund will provide finance for thousands more trees and drive through improvements to community green spaces. 

Rico Wojtulewicz, policy advisor for the National Federation of Builders, felt that Mr Khan was describing innovation that SME housebuilders were already delivering.

“…We hope that the Mayor’s ambition translates into more SME development and a less burdensome planning process.

“SMEs typically incorporate green spaces as part of a good planning application, they have always been vital to development.”

Laura Rich-Jones, co-founder of Richstone Properties, a niche south-west London property developer, said green spaces had always been a key factor in the design of its developments.

“Whether a single home with private outdoor space for a family, or a larger development with communal grounds, the quality of the gardens is incredibly important to us, and it can be a very personal space for our clients. 

“From the size of the lawn, to the types of flowers and trees planted, we try to create the gardens our buyers want to spend time in all year round.”

Lucy Chitty, sales and customer service director at London developer L&Q, said 65% of its five-acre development at Canada Water was dedicated to green space and recreational areas. 

“Outdoor space is incredibly valuable to London buyers, and L&Q worked hard with professional landscape architects to create as much greenery for the residents as possible. 

“Investing in the landscaping and planting is a key aspect of the development as a whole, and by putting an emphasis on communal areas, we aim to create a true sense of community within the scheme.”

The Quebec Quarter development will include native trees as well as wild garlic, bluebells, mature maples and oaks, along with bird and bat boxes as it hopes to draw wildlife into the gardens.

Laura explained that it would use items such as bird and bat boxes as well as attracting insects and bees through specific plant types. 

She also explained that Richstone looked for landscape architects and designers who had great experience and had worked with the likes of Golden Hill Nurseries, Creepers and Todd Longstaff-Gowan – president of the London Parks and Gardens Trust – during developments. 

“We recently completed an eco-friendly development in East Sheen, south-west London, where we used the nearby Royal Richmond Park as the inspiration for the design of both the homes and grounds. 

“Maintaining the privacy and daylight levels – something of incredible value to all residents - of the six new homes and the surrounding plots had a big influence on the final design and landscaping plans.

“Working in harmony with the plot you have, instead of against it, is something we really put a lot of focus on.”

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