England's first garden villages have been proposed for 14 sites across the country along with three larger garden towns in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border, in a move that aims to deliver up to 200,000 new build homes.
The 14 village projects of 1,500 to 10,000 homes each are a new addition to the government’s programme of garden town construction.
Proposals include building a 1,000-home garden village on the site of a former airfield in Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, and a garden town on green belt land on the Essex-Hertfordshire border.
The developments will be distinct new places, with their own community facilities, the government said.
The new villages will receive about £6m in government funding over two years to help deliver the projects, with a further £1.4m of funding being provided for the delivery of the new towns.
The latest plans are in addition to seven garden towns and cities that have already been announced in Aylesbury, Taunton, Bicester, Didcot, Basingstoke, Ebbsfleet, and north Northamptonshire.
Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said garden villages and towns could help tackle the housing crisis if “done well with genuine local consent”.
Spiers added: “Some of these proposals may meet these criteria, but others are greatly opposed by local people.
“We will look closely at these specific proposals to ensure that they really are locally led, that they respect the green belt and other planning designations, and that they meet real local housing need.”
eMoov CEO and former planning committee chairman, Russell Quirk, took to the air on LBC this week to welcome the government’s support of the creation of 14 new Garden Villages across England.
He said: “I've been a pretty ballsy critic of this and previous governments in that they have successively failed to deliver adequate new housing to meet demand and consequently we are faced with a deficit of new homes to the tune of around 100,000 each year. So, this latest announcement is very welcome indeed and is something that I support wholeheartedly.
“The problem for government is that despite their best intentions in laying the foundations for more homes with this announcement, many of these schemes will fail at the local planning stage as not everyone will be so accommodating of these plans. Primarily those that live nearby to them, otherwise known as NIMBYs [Not In My Back Yard].
“What we will no doubt now see are objections from each local populace on the grounds of overdevelopment, unsustainable traffic, not enough doctors or dentist surgeries, noise and air pollution and the blighting of our green and pleasant land.
“But frankly, these 'Middle-England anarchists' need to suck it up and move aside as those that live in glass houses, so to speak, should not be so narrow-minded nor so hypocritical as to prevent others enjoying the same comforts as they do.
“The consequence then of such a head in the sand, 'no not here' attitude is that our kids and their kids will struggle to own a home. In the meantime, house prices will continue skywards as we continue to deny our offspring the right to buy.
“So, whilst I am an ultimate democrat when emotions and politics get in the way of common sense you have no choice but to remove the politics from the process. If that means short-cutting democracy to get the 200,000 homes built, then that is what the Government must do, even if it is against the tide of localism and all such similar political rhetoric of the last few years.”
The 14 new garden villages will be in:
Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon
Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire
Culm in Devon
Welborne in Hampshire
West Carclaze in Cornwall
Dunton Hills in Essex
Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire
Halsnead in Merseyside
Longcross in Surrey
Bailrigg in Lancaster
Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire
St Cuthberts in Cumbria
Handforth in Cheshire
The three new garden towns will be in:
Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury area)
Somerset (Taunton area)
Essex-Hertfordshire border (Harlow and Gilston)