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Garden Communities: Construction

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 20th January 2017.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps Conservative, Welwyn Hatfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how his Department plans to measure whether proposed new garden cities, towns and villages are attractive and well-designed; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gavin Barwell Gavin Barwell Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Housing, Planning and London)

We do not want to impose a set of design or development principles on communities. We want to support local authorities and communities in developing their own vision for locally-led garden towns and villages, taking account of local plans. We expect to see ambitious proposals that set high standards for design, quality and the provision of green space.

We are working with local areas to establish how best to measure and ensure those ambitions are being delivered.

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Barry Tempest
Posted on 21 Jan 2017 6:22 pm (Report this annotation)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder............. but never the developer. He is only interested in maximising his profit. Local planning authorities are too easily swayed by flimsy promises that vanish as the project proceeds and the final planned profit margin decreases.

We have seen this in our own village of King's Cliffe, in rural Northamptonshire. Our village parish council recommended a maximum of 50 new homes on a big farmers pasture in the middle of our village. We ended up with over 150 thanks to the district council and pressure from the developer. Much of the promised infrastructure is still not in place, some three years after the last house was sold.

Some influence from central government is urgently needed if our situation is not to be repeated elsewhere.