The Government recently announced the location of 14 proposed sites across the country to become new garden villages and three new garden towns with £6 million of funding.
However, it is interesting to note that there is no mention of meeting the current new housing targets set for Mid-Sussex and the decision due from Wealden District Council on preferred sites has been further delayed.
Areas in Hailsham, Heathfield, Crowborough, Polegate, Stone Cross and Uckfield are all earmarked for regeneration to make provision for around 4,500 new affordable homes with additional space for offices and shops. Naturally, improved public transport and links are a large part of these developments with the intention of encouraging new businesses and therefore increased employment in these areas. There will also be a 7km protection zone around Ashdown Forest to safeguard this important site. The announcement is now expected to be made in April 2017.
News of the proposed new garden villages has naturally been met with mixed opinion.
The villages will provide approximately 48,000 new homes and will be ‘new towns’ and not extensions to existing urban areas and are being built in response to meeting local housing needs and help first time buyers get on the first rung of the property ladder.
The villages will be designed, from the outset, to include schools, GP surgeries, shops and transport infrastructure and not just additions to existing suburbs. Some of the villages will include the regeneration of run down areas, utilising existing developments and some on green-belt land. These villages will provide new jobs, not only for the builders of the new homes, the infrastructure required and business zones but long term employment as teachers, GP’s, nurses and shop staff will need to be employed to look after their new communities.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said garden villages and towns could help tackle the housing crisis if “done well with genuine local consent”.
Chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Shaun Spiers added: “Some of these proposals may meet these criteria, but others are greatly opposed by local people.
We will look closely at these specific proposals to ensure that they really are locally led, that they respect the green belt and other planning designations, and that they meet real local housing need.”
The 14 new garden villages will be in: Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon; Oxfordshire Cotswolds; Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire; Culm in Devon; Welborne in Hampshire; West Carclaze in Cornwall; Dunton Hills in Essex; Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire; Halsnead in Merseyside; Longcross in Surrey; Bailrigg in Lancaster; Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire; St Cuthberts in Cumbria and Handforth in Cheshire. The three new garden towns will be in: Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Taunton in Somerset and Harlow and Gilston in Essex-Hertfordshire.
Rix & Kay’s dedicated Commercial Property Team based in Uckfield work with a wide range of landowners and developers across the Weald providing dedicated support on potential new development projects. For more information contact one of our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org