Inside the new-build estate where the garden of every home is carpeted with fake grass 'that poses risk to pets & kids' | The Sun
A NEW-BUILD estate looks like a scene straight out of a computer game as every house comes with immaculate fake lawns.
Row after row of the neat semi-detached properties feature the plastic turf in the front and back gardens.
The cluster of homes sits in the brand new Moneyfield Mews development in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Twelve townhouses and 14 apartments are up for grabs, with sizeable price tags of up to £550,000.
But the new owners will save a bit of cash on looking after their lawns as all of the grass is artificial.
The unusual design choice, said to be a "status symbol" and inspired by Love Island villas and influencer Mrs Hinch, has been met with mixed reviews.
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Some say it's ingeniously low-maintenance while others argue it simply looks "horrible".
Eco experts believe that as well as being an eyesore, it actually poses a risk to pets and children.
In warm weather, AstroTurf gets even hotter than bitumen, used for road surfaces, and concrete can burn bare feet and paws.
It also lets off an unpleasant burning plastic smell, and some animals confuse it for the real thing and try to eat it, which could kill them.
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Artificial grass can also end up being more expensive than the regular stuff, costing up to £10,000 to be laid and then needing replacing every eight to 15 years, MailOnline reports.
Garden designer and horticultural consultant Charlotte Howard told the outlet: "I would rather be given a lump of soil and make my own decision."
She reckons people are swayed by the aesthetic without giving much thought to the long-term consequences.
"People want this perfect postage stamp garden but they become quagmires as they don't know how to look after it," Charlotte said.
"They are sold a dream that they don't need to maintain it and their garden looks very Love Island or like the one influencer Mrs Hinch has.
"It is a status symbol. [But] because the marketing industry is so powerful, people are just being brainwashed."
She also claimed that because fake grass isn't recyclable as it is made from polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon, it has to go to landfill or be incinerated, which is detrimental to the environment.
The four-bedroom houses on Moneyfield Mews stretch over three storeys and boast two en-suites and a family-sized bathroom.
They also come with two private parking spaces and a garage at the back.
The apartments, available as one or two-bed, benefit from one allocated parking space and cost £1,350 a month.
The project, built on the old Moneyfields FC ground, was supposed to cost £3.5million but lockdown delays meant it ended up setting developers back a whopping £5.2m.
Residents on nearby streets are divided over the pristine bright green rectangles that accompany the freshly-constructed buildings.
Engineer Anthony Fritton, 30, who is going to have the fake grass outside his terraced home ripped up as soon as possible, said: "I hate it.
"Just look at it, it's horrible."
But dad-of-two Mark Wilder, a 44-year-old business manager who currently has the real deal in his back garden, is considering making the switch.
"I think it looks fine," he said. "It will be much easier maintenance than proper turf."
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Addressing Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, environmentalist Ben Goldsmith said on Twitter: "Plastic grass is an abomination in every possible way.
"Please, please be impulsive and find a way to ban it. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?"
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