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Liberal Democrats plan new garden cities

Liberal Democrats plan new garden cities

The Liberal Democrats have proposed the construction of "at least" ten new garden cities across England as part of their plans to tackle the housing crisis.

Included as part of an "ambitious" programme aimed at ensuring 300,000 new properties are built every year, the party has included this pledge in its general election manifesto, which was published today (May 17th).

The new developments would feature "tens of thousands of high-quality new zero carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport" the party said, although it did not stipulate exactly where these would be built.

However, the party has said sustainability is the key to new development to prevent too much strain being placed on existing infrastructure, so they may be close to existing towns and cities, or new transport routes.

Other policies include cracking down on land-banking, as well as removing exemptions currently used by developers to avoid a certain proportion of new developments being comprised of affordable homes. Councils will also face ?stricter rules obliging them to make sure surplus land is turned over for housebuilding, while councils and housing associations will be able to borrow more to fund new building.

The Liberal Democrats supported the development of garden cities during the days of the coalition government, when Ebbsfleet and Bicester were earmarked as the first modern garden cities to be developed. Since the 2015 general election, the Conservatives have continued with this idea, including smaller scale 'garden towns' and 'garden villages'.

In the latter case, the first proposed sites were revealed in January, with 14 sites of between 1,000 and 10,000 homes set to be built in England.

The Conservative manifesto has not yet been published, but Labour revealed? their plans yesterday (May 16th). These do not mention garden cities, but do propose building a series of new towns across England to prevent "urban sprawl".

Image: iStock


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