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Government announces first garden village locations

Words: Laura Edgar

The government has announced the locations of 14 new garden villages and a two-year £6 million fund to support their development.

According to the government, the garden villages have the potential to deliver 48,000 homes.

The new garden villages are:

•    Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
•    Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
•    Deenethorpe in East Northamptonshire
•    Culm in Mid Devon
•    Welborne near Fareham, Hampshire
•    West Carclaze in Cornwall
•    Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex
•    Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire
•    Halsnead in Knowsley, Merseyside
•    Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath
•    Bailrigg in Lancaster
•    Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire and Derby City area
•    St Cuthberts near Carlisle City, Cumbria
•    North Cheshire in Cheshire East

The projects are an extension of the existing garden towns programme. Villages, the government said, will comprise between 1,500 and 10,00 homes.

The £6 million fund, which can be accessed over the next two financial years, can be used to “unlock the full capacity” of sites, providing funding for additional resources and expertise to accelerate development and avoid delays.

New planning freedoms will also be offered, and the projects will also have access to the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund announced in November’s Autumn Statement.

In addition to the garden villages, the government also pledged its support for three new garden towns in Aylesbury, Taunton, and Harlow & Gilston. It said a £1.4 million fund would support their delivery.

The government said that together with the seven garden towns already announced and these 17 new settlements, 200,000 new homes could be built across the country.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: “Locally led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need.

“New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies. These places combined could provide almost 200,000 homes.”

Trudi Elliott, chief executive at the RTPI, said new settlements in the right places are part of the solution to the housing crisis and the institute is encouraged by the government’s intention to help deliver schemes.

“Providing infrastructure upfront in a coordinated way is often critical to successful delivery of development and creating great places. We urge the government to use the £2.3billion Housing and Infrastructure Fund to provide infrastructure upfront in a coordinated way to help deliver development and create places.”

The RTPI also welcomed the government’s promise to help local authorities with resource for expertise, “given the gradual decline in numbers of professional planners in planning departments”.

“We would like to see more detail about the kinds of “planning freedoms” the government intends to allow, given the importance afforded to heavily scrutinised local and neighbourhood plans, and the current drive by government for all council’s to have adopted local plans this year.”

Image credit | iStock