Garden grabbing is on the increase in the West Midlands, despite the property slump, according to new figures.
The percentage of new homes built on land which was previously residential – mainly back gardens – has risen to 23 per cent compared to just ten per cent in 1997.
Statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that the highest incidences of garden grabbing are in rural green belt areas.
In Bromsgrove between 2006-09 just over 40 per cent of new homes were built on “grabbed” land. In Cannock Chase it was 46 per cent, the Malvern Hills 41 per cent, North Warwickshire 51 per cent, Solihull 33 per cent and Stratford-upon-Avon 41 per cent.
It was less prevalent in urban areas, with 22 per cent of new properties in Birmingham built on residential land compared to just 10 per cent in Wolverhampton.
In June the Government announced changes to planning policy, taking gardens out of the brownfield category and making it easier for councils and residents to block a garden grabbing application.