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£1.1m fund to support garden towns

Words: Laura Edgar

The government has announced that two new garden towns will be supported with £1.1 million of funding aimed at delivering homes for aspiring homeowners.

The garden towns will be at Didcot in Oxfordshire and North Essex. Between them, they are set to provide up to 50,000 new homes, supported by new infrastructure, according to the government.

The proposals suggest an additional 15,000 homes in Greater Didcot Garden Town and up to 35,000 homes in new garden communities in North Essex.

The government said the money will fund initial work that will enable “high-quality homes, new transport improvements, good schools, jobs and community amenities to be delivered in a strategic and sustainable way”.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “I’ve been really impressed by the level of ambition and vision shown by Didcot and North Essex and their determination to deliver new sustainable communities.

“We are determined to support communities that are eager to boost the number of homes in their areas to meet local need and this money will help get work up and running quicker.”

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils worked in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to put together a bid for Garden Town status.

John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Didcot is our main growth area in South Oxfordshire and we want to ensure that we do everything possible to support the quality of life for the people who will live there. By successfully applying for Garden Town status, we’re helping to support the new families moving to Didcot, but we’re also making sure the people already there continue to benefit from investment in the town.”

Image credit | Bill Tyne