Planning minister says new PPS3 guidance will also encourage more parks and open spaces

Planning minister Yvette Cooper has pledged to make all new housing developments family friendly.

Cooper told a seminar in London earlier today that PPS3, the guide to planning new housing schemes due to be launched later this week, will include rules to encourage the provision of parks, open spaces and gardens.

Addressing the Town and Country Planning Association event, Cooper said: "For the first time, we are going to recognise in planning guidance the needs of children who have different spatial needs to the rest of the community."

Cooper also promised to increase the supply of land for house building, but warned developers that they must bring forward higher quality schemes.

And she said that the new PPS3 would maintain the existing "brownfield sites first", stressing that the government would prevent developers from ‘cherry picking’ lucrative greenfield sites for development without considering more expensive previously developed options first.

She also said that the code for sustainable homes, which is due to be launched by her boss communities minister Ruth Kelly before Christmas, will contain a timetable for moving towards low and then zero carbon development. "We want to set a clear timetable to achieve zero carbon development for all new housing development."

"We want to be clear that protecting the environment can’t be an excuse for stopping development."

Cooper presentation follows another speech on PPS3 at last week’s Thames Gateway Forum, in which she said the government would use the Planning Inspectorate to police the quality of housing development by turning down poorly designed schemes when they came up for appeal.