Budget 2017: New town development corporations to kick-start five garden towns

The government will use new town development corporations to bring forward five new garden towns in areas of 'demand pressure' and will support more 'strategic and zonal planning approaches' in the South East, chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

Oxford: Oxfordshire has agreed to bring forward a joint statutory spatial plan
Oxford: Oxfordshire has agreed to bring forward a joint statutory spatial plan

In today’s Budget statement, Hammond said that the garden towns would be "delivered through public-private partnerships designed to attract long term capital investment from around the world".

The Budget document said: "The government will bring together public and private capital to build five new garden towns, using appropriate delivery vehicles such as development corporations, including in areas of high demand such as the South East."

Hammond also backed the recommendations of a report by the National Infrastructure Commission, which last week said that the rates of housebuilding in the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor "will need to double", delivering up to one million new homes by 2050, "if the arc is to achieve its economic potential".

"Today we back their vision and commit to building up to 1 million homes by 2050," Hammond said. "Completing the road and rail infrastructure to support them."

The Budget document said: "The government recognises the need, highlighted by the NIC’s report, to build up to 1 million new homes in the area by 2050 to maximise its economic potential, starting with a housing deal with Oxfordshire for 100,000 homes by 2031, and working with Central and Eastern sections on commitments in 2018."

Oxfordshire has agreed to "bring forward for adoption a joint statuary spatial plan and commit to a stretching target of 100,000 homes in the county by 2031, in return for a package of government support over the next five years", the Budget document says.

The Budget document adds that, to ensure investment is well-targeted and helps to grow the economy, "the government will support more strategic and zonal planning approaches through housing deals in the South East, where housing need is at its most acute".

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