I at first thought this was the Ecotown site, no its the Customn Build MOD site. But would the public subsidy be needed if there was value capture from the MOD? So far we have had two garden cities, both woth public subsidy, neither with value capture, Lewis Silkin would have said thats poor value for the government lucre.
A garden city in the Home Counties to provide thousands of new houses for young families is to be announced in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.
Plans for a new settlement in Bicester containing up to 13,000 homes will be funded with nearly £100million of Government spending and loans.
Nick Clegg, who has championed new towns across England, said that he hoped that Bicester will be the first of “another wave” of garden cities that will help to solve the housing crisis.
The new town will be built in an area considered to be a Conservative heartland and could lead to an outcry from grassroots activists.
The issue was at the centre of a major Coalition row earlier this year over fears that the creation of new cities could lead to Labour voters moving into safe shire constituencies, diluting traditional Tory support.
The new town in Bicester will be built on a brownfield site, believed to be land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Clegg said: “The Liberal Democrats have long argued that Garden Cities are an idea whose time has come again.
“I am delighted that Bicester can now be confirmed as a pioneer in what I hope will be another wave of Garden Cities in this country.
“This is a significant victory for the approach championed by the Coalition Government – where local areas put their hand up and say we want to become a Garden City or Garden Town.”
More than £44million will be spent by the Government on new roads and a motorway junction near Bicester, it is understood.
An addition £55million will also be spent on loans to developers who will design the new settlement along “garden city principles”, ensuring that parks and transport links are included in the plans.
The Chancellor used his Budget in March to confirm that the Government will build the first new garden city for 100 years in Ebbsfleet in Kent.
The Treasury has said that it will make £200million of infrastructure funding available for the Ebbsfleet project.
The Deputy Prime Minister added: “Bicester will get help from the Government with both significant capital investment and in helping developers build the amenities that are required to be a true Garden Town.
“I hope many other towns will follow Bicester’s lead and we will see more Garden Cities spring up that have the affordable, well-designed homes with proper transport links; services and amenities, which our young families want and need.”
Garden cities were developed in the early years of the last century in an attempt to combine the best of town and country living and create healthy homes for working people.
In the post-war years, some 27 new towns were built across Britain, including Milton Keynes, Stevenage, Corby, and Cumbernauld.
Garden cities were fully designed to include plenty of green spaces for residents, as a solution to the shortage of housing caused by the Blitz, a weak construction industry and the post-war baby boom.
Many Tories as well as the Liberal Democrats see them as a solution to the housing shortage.
New homes equivalent to 18 Olympic villages are expected to be needed in London alone by 2021.