Large scale developments like the Western Gateway are hindering Scottish Government efforts to help the environment, Dundee Civic Trust has claimed.
Last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon put environmentally-friendly policies at the heart of her programme for government.
In her speech to the SNP conference on Tuesday, she discussed the “urgency and global scale of the climate emergency” and promised Scotland would “lead the way” in tackling climate change.
But in an open letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Civic Trust chairman Donald Gordon says more must be done to encourage environmentally-friendly housing developments.
He states: “Logically, this would preclude excessive building in peripheral areas and urban sprawl, but instead would concentrate on developments in Scotland’s cities.
“This is achieved by strongly encouraging the use of brownfield sites, reusing existing buildings, and combining and integrating housing and employment uses so that they are reasonably near each other.”
He said such a policy would help to curtail the use of private cars since towns and cities are already served by public transport, and by educational, social, and water facilities.
“Developing greenfield sites, on the other hand, consumes productive farmland, boosts longer car commuting, reduces the prospect of bringing brownfield sites back into productive use, and requires the use of additional land and expenditure for infrastructure, roads, and educational and social needs,” he said.
“The nature of these housing developments is such that car use is essential and public transport is unavailable.”
Mr Gordon said the problem in Dundee was being exacerbated by new developments to the east and north of the city and greenfield sites were being targeted by developers simply because it is easier to build there.
He said the Scottish Government should do more to promote and support the development of brownfield sites
“This will result in healthier and more sustainable population centres, less traffic pollution, reduced requirement for expensive new roads and other infrastructure, and will leave more green sites available for farming and recreation, ” he added.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “While responsibility for local planning in this area rests with the local authority, we will explore planning options to help us reduce emissions through the fourth National Planning Framework and the development of the planning system.
“Scottish Planning Policy is clear that planning should direct the right development to the right place which includes considering the re-use or re-development of brownfield land before new development takes place on greenfield sites.”