Garden Cities Construction to Curb Housing Shortage
In a bid to combat the housing shortage in England, it was confirmed in April that three new “garden cities” were going to be built by 2020.
Garden cities are new towns built specifically to incorporate a large number of new homes with as much open and green space as possible. The idea is that a garden city is self-sufficient, providing jobs for residents, with proportionate residential, industrial and agricultural areas.
After World War II, more than 25 new towns were built in the style of garden cities across the UK to help house families who had been displaced during the Blitz and the post-war baby boom, as well as provide work for the country’s weak construction industry. Some of those towns include the now well-established Corby, Stevenage and Milton Keynes.
More than 200,000 households are created each year in the UK, and yet last year a little over 100,000 homes were actually built. The three new developments – two of which are thought to be planned for the south-east of England – will hold around 15,000 houses each, to help fight the current “chronic” housing shortage.
A shortlist of where the new communities will be located should be published by the end of the year. But how will building the new towns affect current residents and their homes? There are worries that property values will fall for those who are already residing in the areas where construction will be planned.
Because of this, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that homeowners could be compensated, either with a reduction in the amount of council tax these residents have to pay or by the government buying their home outright and upfront.
“The bidding process is still open for communities with proposals for ambitious, locally led developments that have the backing of existing residents,” said Housing Minister Brandon Lewis in support of Mr Clegg’s proposals.
“We are actively looking at [ways] to show that we will go the extra mile to allay those concerns of people who feel their property or the price of their home might be affected,” Mr Clegg explained. “We don’t want people to lose out.”