Why pioneers of the Fast-Growing Green Roof Market are Looking to Metro Mayors to Pick up the Baton

The recently launched UK Green Roof Market, First Assessment report uncovered an area of significant growth for the landscape industry.

The report, produced by Livingroofs.org in association with GRO, the Green Roof Organisation and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, calculated point-of-sales information from suppliers of green roofs, and the volume of substrate material used in UK green roof implementation, and found that the market was growing by 17 per cent each year.

This growth has been mainly fuelled by work in London, because the London Plan specifies that "major development proposals should be designed to include roof, wall and site planting, especially green roofs and walls where feasible."

As a result, currently around 42 per cent of all UK green roofs installed are in London but there are other hot spots for green roofs outside the capital. Southampton Council’s Green Space Factor planning tool has had an impact and there are other areas delivering green roofs, notably Sheffield and Brighton & Hove.

Now green roof practitioners are asking if the new Metro Mayors can have the same impact in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, the West Midlands and the West of England.

Founder and chairman of the UK Green Roof Organisation Mark Harris says in the report: "Without the major influence of the London Plan and Local Authority planning officers, it’s probably true to say we wouldn’t be celebrating the success of the green roof industry in the same way today. Looking to the future, I have high hopes that the new Mayors of Birmingham and Manchester will look at what has been achieved in the redevelopment of London and adopt, and/or strengthen, the elements of the London Plan related to green roofing.

"Both of these great cities face the same development challenges that London did back at the turn of the century. The evidence contained in this report points to the significant contributions that the green roof industry can make to a city’s redevelopment and growth – socially, environmentally and economically."

Green roof contractors and suppliers have been saying for some time that the market is booming.

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