A report published on 1 March by the Land Trust shows how parkland lifts nearby house prices, creates jobs and generates revenue for local businesses
The report, commissioned from Alliance Manchester Business School MBA Consultancy project, used evidence from the creation in 2013-14 of Port Sunlight River Park in Wirral, Merseyside, and made contrasts with comparable nearby areas.
The study identified a range of benefits around the park’s creation, including:
- Adding £7.8m to houses within a 500-metre radius of the park – an average of £8,674 per property.
- Generating £48,000 annual revenue for the small businesses that operate in the park, such as dog walkers and ice cream vendors.
- Adding £38,000 revenue to other local businesses, where people have spent money while visiting the park.
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, said: “This study provides concrete evidence of green space bringing economic value to local communities. But there are barriers to overcome if we’re to reap the full benefits of this all around the country.”
The Land Trust’s report concluded that:
- Developers need to start quantifying the impacts of green spaces on their housing development revenues – and factor-in from the outset the long-term costs of maintaining green space in order to maximise its value.
- Local authority planners need to make sure local planning decisions take into account funding for long-term maintenance of green space associated with developments – and ensure that new developments contribute to existing green spaces.
- Government must motivate a culture change through planning policy guidance – to guarantee the necessary investment for maintaining green spaces in and around developments.
Hall concluded: “We need developers, local authority planners and central government planning guidance to come together and change how we think about green spaces – not just as places which support the government’s objectives around health and wellbeing, but also as assets that boost local economies. The findings from our new study are very encouraging and suggest a way forward that will benefit everybody.”