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Public parks are valued at just£1

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Council accounting rules mean public parks are valued at just£1 apiece when they are included as assets, according to a report.

The Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE) argues the value of trees, plants, benches and structures should be recognised, giving parks values of up to£100m - meaning it will be easier to build a case for further investments.

Undervaluing park assets matters, says CABE Space, because if you have a building valued at£5m and a park valued at£1, then maintaining the building will appear the better investment.

But if the park is valued at£100m, it then merits an appropriate maintenance budget.

The research explains why the anomaly exists in council accounts.

Many parks were once common land or bequeathed, so were never bought and have no original value.

Depreciation is often factored in even though living things, especially trees, become more valuable as they mature.

Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space, said that parks are chronically undervalued.

“You only have to visit a garden centre to know that trees, paving, shrubs and benches are not worthless.”

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