Bicester selected as 'new garden city'
Tomorrow (December 3rd), chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will announce that Bicester has been selected as the site for its second garden city during his Autumn Statement. Up to 13,000 new homes will be built on the edge of the Oxfordshire town, as part of the coalition government's plans to deal with the housing shortage the UK is facing. The project will be funded with almost £100 million of public spending and loans.Although an official announcement is likely to be made later today, a Treasury spokesperson told the BBC that the government intends to put its support behind Bicester.Bicester, one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire, is expected to get a new railway station in order to support its ever-expanding population under plans previously detailed by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.Mr Clegg has been an avid supporter of the creation of new towns across England and hopes that Bicester will be the beginning of a wave of garden cities to help solve the current housing crisis.He 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."The government plans to build a total of three garden cities, with each being home to more than 15,000 new properties. Back in March, it revealed funding from an existing pot worth £2.4 billion would be made available to developments being constructed up to 2020. According to the government, garden cities are large-scale developments that have certain features "hardwired into designs from the beginning", including quality design, accessible green space located nearby, as well as good access to local amenities and employment.Garden cities resemble towns built across Britain after World War II, such as Stevenage, Harlow, Milton Keynes, Corby, Cwmbran, Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee and Cumbernauld. These towns were built to deal with an accommodation shortage caused by damage from bombs, stagnation in the construction industry, returning armed forces personnel and the baby boom.
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