Two announcements from the DCLG have emerged that will be of interest to residential developers. Firstly, there will be a reclassification of domestic gardens so that they are no longer previously developed land (“PDL” or “brownfield land”). Secondly, and also with immediate effect, the minimum housing densities in PPS3 are abolished.

Whilst it is comforting to see the government tackling some perceived failings of policy most domestic gardens are specifically addressed within the development framework so that their classification or otherwise as PDL may only be of marginal significance.

Lastly, one of the more important messages of the revised PPS3 is that we must make efficient use of land. Many will see the removal of density targets as a good thing and a clear indication that we will move back to the traditional family homes with decent sized gardens whilst others will see it as another question mark over whether we can achieve the growth in housing numbers required whilst keeping in mind environmental concerns and perhaps more controversially, not releasing green belt land to development