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Locally-Led Garden Cities , Villages Towns in the United Kingdom

Letchworth Garden City


Foreword 

We were elected on a promise to get Britain building and help more people achieve their dream of home ownership. We are delivering. Housing starts and completions are at their their highest level since 2008, and reforms to the planning system are helping speed up development across the country. Schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership have helped over 270,000 families realise their dreams and become homeowners. We have set out the most ambitious housing programme for more than a generation, doubling the housing budget so we can meet our ambition of delivering a million new homes over this Parliament. As part of this, and to ensure that strong communities are at the heart of new development, we made a commitment in our manifesto to support locally-led garden cities and towns in places where communities want them.

Welwyn Garden City


We are supporting a new wave of garden cities, towns and communities in Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Ebbsfleet, North Essex and North Northamptonshire. Together, these have the potential to deliver over 100,000 homes with strong communities at their heart. Each place is unique, but they all offer big opportunities for transformational long-term housing growth. This will ensure that the real and important benefits that people rightly expect are secured from the outset - quality design with cutting-edge technology, local employment opportunities, accessible green space near homes, high quality public realm. Great places for great communities. These garden towns and cities are crucial towards meeting our long-term housing needs but we want to go further. This prospectus extends our offer of support which, until now, has been focused on new garden communities of at least 10,000 homes, to help those areas which also want to create new garden villages, towns and cities. This country is building again, and we are committed to delivering a lasting legacy of new, beautiful places, with the homes that people rightly want, and expect. We encourage local areas and local communities who want to make new garden villages, towns, or cities, a key part of their offer on housing growth to read and respond to this prospectus.


The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Brandon Lewis MP Minister for Housing and Planning

 Introduction

1. This government is taking action on a range of fronts to ensure the homes this country so badly needs, get built: speeding up the planning system; ensuring land for housing is available and gets built out; ensuring that we maximise the use of brownfield land; providing new opportunities for custom and self-builders; backing SME builders; providing more opportunities for home ownership through Help to Buy and our Starter Homes programme.

2. We are making good progress. We have delivered a net supply of over 170,000 homes up to December 2015 – a 25% increase compared to the year before. Housing starts have also risen 23% up to the same period. But we know if we are to achieve our target of one million new homes by 2020, we need to support and enable house building at all scales.

3. Large new settlements have a key role to play, not only in meeting this country’s housing needs in the short-term, but also in providing a stable pipeline of housing well into the future.

 4. We want to encourage more local areas to come forward with ambitious locally-led proposals for new communities that work as self-sustaining places, not dormitory suburbs. They should have high quality and good design hard-wired in from the outset – a new generation of garden villages, towns and cities.

5. We know that there is interest at the local level in how developing new garden villages, towns and cities can be a suitable way of meeting local housing need, rather than building on to existing settlements. We are taking important steps to support local areas who want to move in that direction.

6. We are proposing to strengthen national planning policy to provide a more supportive approach for new settlements. We are committing to legislate to update the New Towns Act 1981 to ensure we have a statutory vehicle well-equipped to support the delivery of new garden cities, towns and villages for the 21st century

7. This prospectus extends our existing offer to support local areas who want to create garden communities on a smaller scale. It offers tailored support to local areas which want to deliver a new garden village, town or city. It is divided into two parts covering expressions of interest for different scales of development.

 8. The first part of the prospectus invites expressions of interest by 31 July 2016 for new ‘garden villages’ of between 1,500 to 10,000 homes. Our intention at this stage is to support up to 12 new garden village proposals.

9. The second part of the prospectus invites expressions of interest on a rolling basis in new garden towns and cities of more than 10,000 homes. Recognising the exceptional nature of development at this scale, we expect to add to the garden towns and communities we are currently supporting at Ebbsfleet, Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, and in North Northamptonshire and North Essex. 


What do we mean by garden villages, towns and cities? 

10. We do not consider that there is a single template for a garden village, town or city. It will be important for the new community to establish a clear and distinct sense of identity. We want to see local areas adopt innovative approaches and solutions to creating great places, rather than following a set of rules. 

11. Equally, we are clear that this prospectus is not looking to support places which merely use ‘garden’ as a convenient label. Rather, we will support local areas that embed key garden city principles to develop communities that stand out from the ordinary. We do not want to impose a set of development principles on local areas, and will support local areas in developing their own vision for their communities. But, we will want to see evidence of attractive, well-designed places with local support. 






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