TCPA calls on Government to back Garden Cities


The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is calling on Government to use the Autumn Statement to commit to a programme of affordable and high-quality new Garden Cities

The TCPA’s Garden Cities campaign has had a significant impact on Government thinking. In his speech on 16 November, the Secretary of State Sajid Javid MP, indicated the government’s interest in a new generation of Garden Cities. On 17 November, the final report from the National Infrastructure Commission linked infrastructure delivery and the delivery of new towns in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor, recognising the need for a long-term and strategic approach.

However, TCPA suggests that if the Government is serious about fixing the broken housing market it will use the Autumn Statement to make a real commitment to Garden Cities and to a radically different model of housing delivery. To translate the rhetoric into a lasting legacy of high-quality development TCPA are calling on the Chancellor to be ‘brave and bold’ in the Budget, setting out a commitment to genuine garden cities that:

  • have local support;
  • provide affordable homes for all;
  • are in sustainable locations, well served with public transport;
  • ensure the highest-quality design standards on everything from accessibility to climate change;
  • provide for work and a vibrant social and cultural life close to people’s homes;
  • provide for the sharing of development values for the long-term stewardship of community facilities and green spaces;
  • and are in the context of a national conversation about rebalancing the economy.

The TCPA’s Garden Cities & New Towns Policy Manager, Katy Lock, said:

“We welcome the government’s interest in scale growth, and the NIC’s support for New Towns, but this must be combined with the necessary investment and with a robust process which takes a national perspective and works with communities to find the best locations.  We have a choice between building soulless housing estates or real communities where people can live and work.

“Government must commit to the garden city principles – including long-term stewardship and sharing land value uplift – through a strategically planned programme of new Garden Cities. Learning lessons from the past, and using modernised new town development corporations, government can build the confidence for local authorities to ensure high standards, de-risk investment for the private sector, and most importantly secure quality outcomes for people.”

The TCPA has long advocated the standards necessary to build genuine Garden Cities and has published two new guides which set out the criteria for how new communities should be located and how they can be financed. The guides ‘Practical Guides for Creating Successful New Communities – Guide 1: Locating and Consenting New Garden Cities’ and ‘Practical Guides for Creating Successful New Communities-Guide 2: Finance and Delivery’ are part of a suite of guides to help local authorities deliver the garden city principles in the current policy and legislative context. The guides also set out a recommended approach for Government on the location and consent of new garden cities in England.

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