Plant trees and provide green spaces

We don’t just need more sustainable houses, we need more sustainable housing estates, where green space is designed in, along with active transport – walking and cycling – to local services and workplaces. Not all local authorities have the robust plans in place that they should, leading to unbalanced new-build developments with inadequate schools, health services, community buildings and access to public transport.

One worrying concern is that some new estates have inadequate electrical infrastructure – if in future electric vehicles and solar generation become the norm, these new build estates cannot handle the electrical load through their cables and substations. I will lead the Housing and Land Board to support local authorities to plan their housing developments to these high standards, including the requirement to have high capacity solar generation on all new homes.

A programme of tree planting will accompany house building. Trees provide a range of ecological benefits, removing carbon from the atmosphere, enhancing air quality and reducing the risk of flooding. Trees enhance the visual environment when situated in well designed green spaces and enhance shared places of leisure and recreation. I’ll support schemes for children and communities to participate in tree planting, and support access to fruit trees to increase habitats for bees and other insects, and encourage urban food production.

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