The government will publish a prospectus by Easter setting out how local authorities could develop their own ‘locally-led’ proposals for bringing forward new garden cities, chancellor George Osborne has announced.
Today’s Budget, which confirmed that the government will support a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, Kent, revealed that the prospectus will be published “by Easter 2014”.
The prospectus had been promised by the government more than two years ago to define the processes for promoting large settlements and garden cities, but has yet to be published.
The Budget document said that a dedicated urban development corporation would be formed to “drive forward the creation” of the Ebbsfleet garden city. It added that up to £200 million of infrastructure funding would be made available to kick start development.
In his Budget speech, Osborne said: “We’re going to build 15,000 homes there, put in the infrastructure, set up the development corporation and make it happen.”
Stuart Robinson, executive director and chairman of UK planning at property firm CBRE, said: “”Garden cities were a step forward in their time but what is required currently is a model very different to what we saw at Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.
“And although the mayor is gallantly using innovative ideas to procure homes at a faster rate, the scale of the housing crisis in London will need solutions which address the heart of the undersupply in problems in the capital.”
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: “We welcome the announcement of the new garden city in Ebbsfleet, but it will only make a difference if it is the first of many. The new homes in Ebbsfleet must not merely replace homes that would have been built elsewhere.”