England plans new garden towns, villages to ease housing crisis
London, Jan 2 (IANS) New garden villages and towns will be built across England in an attempt to alleviate the housing crisis, the government said.
The villages will not be extensions of existing small towns or villages, but “distinct new places with their own community facilities,” the Guardian quoted authorities as saying on Monday.
Sites from Cornwall to Cumbria have been identified in the first round of approved locations, making them eligible for a share of a £6 million ($7,39,6440) government technical and financial support fund.
After completion, the villages may vary in size from 1,500 homes up to 10,000.
The development of the villages would be locally led by communities rather than central government, said Housing Minister Gavin Barwell.
“New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies,” he said.
The 600-acre former Deenethorpe airfield near Corby, Northamptonshire, is one of the sites that has been approved for a village. The plans include a village green, shops and community hall, as well as more than 1,000 homes.
Dunton Hills, a garden village set to be built near Brentwood, Essex, will have at least 2,500 homes, as well as new Gypsy and Traveller pitches.
Three new garden towns have also been announced near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Taunton in Somerset, and Harlow and Gilston in Hertfordshire.
Announcing the scheme, the Housing Minister said the villages will create almost 50,000 new homes from Cheshire down to Devon, while the towns will take the total to 200,000 new homes.
Other planned villages include Long Marston in Warwickshire, Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire, Bailrigg in Lancaster and the Infinity garden village in Derbyshire.
The final six are Oxfordshire Cotswold, Culm in Devon, Welborne in Hampshire, Halsnead in Merseyside, Longcross in Surrey and St Cuthberts near Carlisle.
The garden village initiative was announced by the then chancellor George Osborne last year.
The government has announced seven garden towns and cities to date but the 14 new villages are the first of a new kind of development designed to alleviate concerns about large-scale schemes swamping existing towns.