Earlier this month brought the announcement of 14 new Garden Village proposals which will be formally supported by the Government through the provision of a collective funding pot totalling £6 million. These are;
- Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
- Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
- Deenethorpe in East Northants
- Culm in Mid Devon
- Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire
- West Carclaze in Cornwall (This was originally proposed under the Eco-Town programme call for sites by the Labour Government in the mid-2000s and saved by the Coalition Gov (along with three other sites) in their withdrawal of the Labour Eco-Town Policy in 2010 by Eric Pickles)
- 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
In addition to the above, three new Garden Town proposals will be supported with a separate funding pot totalling £1.4 million. These are;
- Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
- Taunton, Somerset
- Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire
Collectively, these new settlements have the potential to deliver 48,000 new homes
A Garden town is a development of more than 10,000 homes. Garden villages are smaller settlements of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes.
Seven Garden Settlements have previously been announced and are under construction including;
- Otterpool Park, Kent
- North Northants
Cumulatively, all of the above settlements have the potential to deliver over 200,000 new homes.
These new Garden Settlements will separately have access to the new £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund which was announced in last year’s Autumn Statement although to date it is unknown whether any applications have yet been submitted.
West Oxfordshire District Council are pressing ahead with their Government backed Garden Village proposal which should provide 2,200 new homes by 2031. The Council anticipates the first housing completions to begin by April 2021.
In addition to new homes, some 40 hectares of science parks/ business park will be provided to bolster the Oxford economy.
It is to be located just north of the A40, Eynsham, six miles from Oxford City and only three miles from the new strategic employment area at Oxford Northern Gateway.
Several key infrastructure improvements have secured funding in relation to both this Garden Village proposal and Oxford Northern Gateway which include;
- £35m from the Local Growth Fund supporting a new Park & Ride facility at Eynsham together with a new eastbound bus priority lane along the A40 towards Oxford.
- A new City Deal should see a new road linking the A40 to the A44, bypassing Oxford’s Wolvercote roundabout.
It will be interesting to see how many of these Government supported developments will pass the first stage or consultation and investigation given the failure rate experienced by the 57 submissions of interest in the mid 2000’s under the then, Labour Government’s call for Garden Settlements sites. Of the original 57 expressions of interest submitted, 12 were shortlisted but only 4 made it to the final stage and just one is still being constructed in line with the original PPS1 eco standards.
This round saw 51 expressions being submitted in mid-2016 with 17 being chosen to progress to the current stage and subsequently benefit from the funding being provided for further investigation.
Already there are problems for the Government backed Dunton Hills Garden Village proposal in Essex with neighbouring Basildon Borough Council officially objecting to the scheme just three days after the Government announced its support publically. These next two years could be a bumpy road for some however, it is evident that the political drive exists to ensure progression.
For further information, please contact Daniel Gender-Sherry: