Cash boost to help build 200,000 homes in new garden towns

Photo shows Elmsbrook eco village at Bicester
W Elmsbrook Bicester

A £9 million cash injection to speed up the locally-led building of new garden towns and villages across the country has been announced by government.

The Garden Communities project is expected to deliver 200,000 properties on large sites by 2050, and the latest funding will help get 21 sites ready for development.

The government project is helping ambitious councils get well-designed homes built on large sites, and the money will help pay for master-planning and technical studies.

Work is already underway on 10,000 properties across the country in garden towns and villages, with 36,000 expected to be underway or completed by 2022.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “We have not built enough homes in this country for the last three decades, and we are turning that around as we work towards our target to build 300,000 properties a year by the mid-2020s.

“This £9 million funding boost is giving councils the support and cash injection they need so they can finish planning new developments and get diggers on site.

The developments being funded include a 2,000 home site for custom and self-builders in Bicester, on land purchased by the council from the Ministry of Defence.”

It also includes developments in Basingstoke, Didcot, Aylesbury and West Oxfordshire.

Bicester was designated the UK’s first Garden Town in December 2014. the town boasts the UK’s only eco-development (true zero carbon) at Elmsbrook and the largest self-build scheme at Graven Hill.

Didcot won its garden town status in 2015.  The next step on Didcot’s journey towards sustainability was to produce and adopt a masterplan and delivery plan following several months of lively community engagement.  The Didcot Garden Town Delivery Plan was duly adopted as a council strategic document in October 2017 and the council is now working to realise the vision, aspiration and projects outlined in the masterplan.