‘We’ll pay more for greener doorstep’

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RESEARCH from the University of Sheffield has found that people are willing to pay up as much as £360 a year to live in a greener urban environment.

Studies in Sheffield and Manchester indicated residents were willing to pay more in council tax or rent/mortgage payments for greener spaces with more trees.

In Sheffield city centre, near Blonk Street, where rents or mortgage payments for small apartments are around £575 per month, people were prepared to pay £4.27 more per month to maintain the new footbridge, riverside walkway and flood defence works.

If extra landscaping was carried out, they would pay £8 more each month.

However, they said that they would pay even more – an extra £10.81 per month – if the natural vegetation of the riverside was allowed to re-establish itself.

Similar results were found among residents of the Nursery Street area next to the River Don. The more green the scenario, the more people said that they would be willing to pay.

Research was funded by the Interreg IVB North West Europe programme, with the University working with South Yorkshire Forest Partnership.

Prof John Henneberry, of the University’s Department of Town and Regional Planning, said: “The results of this research will be used to help to improve the design of green infrastructure investments so that they more closely meet the preferences of the local communities that use them.”