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Petition Require Planning Permission for laying of Astroturf Lawns / Artificial Grass

Make install of astroturf require Planning Permission with valid reason for approval. Every day, more British gardens are being ripped out for plastic grass. Our entire ecosystem from Bees & Hedgehogs to Bats & Birds is losing precious habitat, all in the name of saving people 10-minutes mowing.

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Astroturf lawns come with huge negatives. There is a high carbon footprint at production and loss of carbon storage when a natural garden is replaced. Microplastics & plastic waste is a growing environmental concern. It's bad for soils & soil life which impedes drainage, increasing flooding. Countless species rely on lawns for pollen/nectar. By destroying insect life we are damaging our ecology from the ground up. Such a destructive & rapidly spreading practice should require planning permission

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 May 2021

The Government has no plans to introduce a requirement that planning permission must be sought for the installation of artificial grass in residential gardens.

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Improving the UK’s biodiversity is a key objective for the Government. The Environment Bill, currently progressing though Parliament, contains an ambitious package of reforms to restore and enhance nature and green spaces. This includes a new mandatory requirement for biodiversity net gain in the planning system, to ensure that new developments enhance biodiversity. In future, substantive developments which involve the laying of artificial grass at the expense of natural landscaping, such as a new football pitch, will be required to ensure biodiversity is enhanced.

However, the Government believes that it would be, in most circumstances, disproportionate to use the planning system to regulate small uses of artificial grass in residential gardens, and has no plans to introduce a requirement that planning permission must be sought for the installation of artificial grass in residential gardens.

Householders already have permitted development rights which allow them to install hard surfacing around their house, subject to limits to address concerns about surface water run-off and reduce the risk of flooding. The installation of decking, or other raised platforms, in gardens is also permitted development providing they are no more than 30cm above the ground and together with other extensions, outbuildings etc, and cover no more than 50 per cent of the original garden area.

However, there are special rules for development in a designated area or to a listed building, and consent will normally be needed to undertake works that change the appearance of a listed building or its grounds.
Homeowners should check with their local planning authority if planning significant works of embanking or terracing to support a hard surface as this may require a planning application.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

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