Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Fourteen garden villages to be built in England, creating 48,000 new homes

PUSHING BACK:Sites for new villages include green belt land and spread from Cornwall to Cumbria, but local opposition is strong in some designated areas

The Guardian

Fourteen garden villages are to be built across England on sites including a former airfield and green belt land, ministers have said.

The villages, totaling 48,000 homes, will not be extensions of existing small towns or villages, but “distinct new places with their own community facilities,” the British government said.

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 (US$7.4 million) government technical and financial support fund. After completion, the villages might vary in size from 1,500 homes up to 10,000.

The development of the villages would be locally led by communities rather than the central government, British Minister of State for Housing Gavin Barwell said

“New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities, and a big boost to local economies,” he said.

The 243 hectare 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, is to have at least 2,500 homes, as well as new Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

West Carclaze in Cornwall is set to be an eco-village with 1,500 new energy-efficient homes, space for self-build and custom-built housing and a new primary school for more than 400 students.

Developers said it will have a solar farm and 350 hectares of green space in a new china clay heritage park incorporating the Sky Tip, a local landmark.

Bike trails and pubs are also planned.

However, local councilors have raised concerns about the small percentage of affordable housing and change in character of the historical mining area.

‘WINDOW DRESSING’

Councilor Dick Cole, leader of the Cornish devolution party Mebyon Kernow, who said he had objected to proposals for an eco-town for a decade, said the garden village announcement was no more than window dressing for a controversial project.

“The government talks about it being a locally led development, but the reality is that this is only happening because it was a government top-down initiative,” Cole said.

“They say it is a brownfield site, but many of the houses are on fields. It has been one of those projects that seems to have a momentum of its own, despite what local people say,” he added.

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