Lancaster is set to receive a share of £6m to create a new 3,500 home “garden village” in the city, one of the first of its kind in the UK.
The government has announced its backing for the first ever Garden Villages, meaning plans at Bailrigg near Lancaster University can now be developed.
Lancaster is one of 14 site to receive a share of the funding.
Lancaster City Council said that at the heart of the garden village concept is the creation of a new settlement with its own distinct character, with
high quality design, communal facilities and community green space will “bring people together and forge a true community spirit”.
Garden villages are designed to have their own distinct character, a sense of being a separate place, and sustainable travel connections through public transport and cycling.
The city council said it will now receive tailored government support to help deliver the proposals, which aim to accommodate new homes without seriously harming the character and feeling of scale which makes Lancaster special. Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member responsible for Regeneration and Planning, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to extend Lancaster’s housing supply in a manner which respects and reflects the ethical beliefs of the local community. In last year’s consultation into developing a new Local Plan for the district, local people told us that the Bailrigg area was the preferred area for growth.
“Designing it as a garden village gives us the chance to deliver this growth in a carefully considered approach, with the university campus and sustainable transport networks.”
The next stage is for the council to work with local communities and land owners in a sophisticated master planning exercise to shape proposals and design the key infrastructure needed to make it work and manage land drainage.
Lancaster University will be a key partner in delivery of the plans. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Mark E. Smith said: “The University is pleased to be working in close partnership with Lancaster City Council to develop a Masterplan for this exciting garden village opportunity for the Lancaster community.”
Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: “Locally-led Garden Towns and Villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need.
“New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies.”
New Garden Villages and Towns
These developments will be distinct new places with their own community facilities, rather than extensions to existing urban areas. The 14 new Garden Villages are:
· Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon;
· Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire;
· Deenethorpe in East Northants;
· Culm in Mid Devon;
· Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire;
· West Carclaze in Cornwall;
· Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex;
· Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire;
· Hallsmead in Knowsley, Merseyside;
· Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath;
· Bailrigg in Lancaster;
· Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire and Derby City area;
· St Cuthberts near Carlisle City, Cumbria; and
· North Cheshire in Cheshire East.
The 3 new Garden Towns are:
· Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire;
· Taunton, Devon; and
· Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire
In addition to funding, the Government will provide support in terms of expertise, brokerage and offer of new planning freedoms.
Due to the high level of expressions of interest submitted in July 2016, the Government has made an additional £1 million available this year for further development of other Garden Village proposals.
The Government may run a further call for expressions of interest in 2017 for other places with proposals for new Garden Villages.
A Garden Town is a development of more than 10,000 homes. Garden Villages are smaller settlements of between 1,500-10,000 homes.
By 2020, more than 25,000 housing starts are expected in Garden Villages, Towns and Cities supported by the Government. Homes are already being built in several locations, including Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Ebbsfleet, Aylesbury, Taunton and North Northants.
The new Garden projects will also have access to infrastructure funding programmes across government, such as the new £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund announced at this year’s Autumn Statement.