Gardens – whether private or communal, small estates or balconies – have never been more important to British homeowners and tenants in search of relief from their increasingly busy lives. Now, after decades of developers squeezing more and more units on to small parcels of land, the message seems to be getting through to builders too.
They call it “placemaking” and a recent report by Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the professional body that regulates property and construction sectors worldwide, concludes that creating “better” places to live can substantially increase the value of dwellings.
Placemaking can include street layout, tree planting and public places, which is something Environ Communities is taking seriously at its Freshford Mill development of two to five-bedroom homes in Somerset near Bath. The original mill buildings have been converted but there are also new-builds in the grounds, which include a wildflower meadow, communal island nature reserve, butterfly garden and wildlife lake.