Restoring green space

Pledge 5 - Restoring green space page

Boris Johnson has pledged to improve 300 acres of green space and plant 20,000 street trees.  Since 2008 he has planted 10,000 new street trees among 70,000 new trees overall, created 1,000 new community gardens, secured funding to improve 300 acres of parkland, specifically 11 of London’s parks.

  • 10,000 new street trees among 70,000 new trees planted. 20,000 more street trees will be planted over the next four years. Boris Johnson's goal is for London to increase tree cover from 20% to 25% by 2025, with another 400,000 trees planted over the next four years (GLA Press Release, 14 February 2012, link).
  • Boris Johnson is investing £6 million to improve 11 of London’s parks – many in outer Boroughs. The funding is improving 300 acres of parkland and has paid for new playgrounds, seating, lighting, litter bins, signage and sporting facilities. Thanks to this financial boost, many of the parks have now been able to embark on more ambitious makeovers having secured additional money totalling £24 million (GLA Press Release, 14 February 2012, link).
  • Boris Johnson has introduced new protections against unwanted development:
    • Presumptions against garden grabbing. Boris Johnson’s London Plan 2011 enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified… This Plan therefore supports development plan-led presumptions against development on back-gardens where locally justified by a sound local evidence base’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link).
    • Draft guidance urges councils to prevent garden grabbing. The GLA’s draft guidance for local authorities on implementing the London Plan states: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).
    • 1,000 new community gardens. Boris Johnson launched ‘Capital Growth’ in 2008 to help green the city, boost volunteering and improve Londoners’ quality of life. By June last year there were 1032 Capital Growth spaces thriving in a diverse range of places including schools, universities, hospitals, on rooftops, in housing estates and community centres (GLA Press Release, 9 June 2011, link).

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