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25/03/2019

Malthouse names five new garden towns

Words: Laura Edgar
New towns / iStock

Housing minister Kit Malthouse has announced the five successful bids to create new towns across England. Between them, these settlements could deliver 64,000 homes.

The communities will receive a share of £3.7 million in funding that aims to ‘fast-track’ specialist survey and planning works necessary for their development.

More than 100 proposals were submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The five successful bids to receive an initial £750,000 each are:

  • Grazeley Garden Settlement: up to 15,000 homes – Wokingham Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Reading Borough Council
  • Hemel Garden Communities: up to 11,000 homes – Dacorum Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and The Crown Estate
  • Easton Park Garden Community, North Uttlesford Garden Community and West of Braintree Garden Community: up to 18,500 homes – Uttlesford District Council
  • Tewkesbury Ashchurch Garden Community: up to 10,195 homes – Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Meecebrook, in the north of Stafford borough: approximately 10,000 homes – Stafford Borough Council

Malthouse said: “These new towns will not only provide homes for families, but will be vibrant communities where everyone, including neighbouring communities can benefit from new infrastructure – leaving a legacy for future generations to be proud of.”

The five schemes join the 23 existing garden communities supported by the government. Further successful bids will announced “shortly”.

Jason Lowes, a partner in the planning team at Rapleys, said the funding deal is further confirmation that garden communities “very clearly” remain a key part of the government’s new homes strategy. While they should be welcomed in principle, Lowe said they are “by their nature a long-term solution and only part of the picture”.

“Nearer-term solutions, such as the expansion of existing cities, towns and villages, are also critically important to ensure that people who want to can find new homes close to their families. This needs to be pursued through intensifying densities in appropriate locations, not least town centres, and reviewing the spaces around existing settlement boundaries – including, if necessary and appropriate, green belt land – particularly brownfield green belt land.”


Read more:

News report: Path to a second garden city revolution


Image credit | iStock

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