More new towns could be created in England, providing potentially tens of thousands of new homes, thanks to a change in government policy.
Housing Minister Dominic Raab announced this week that councils will be able to launch a New Town Development Corporation with government approval, with the councils themselves overseeing the new bodies rather than the Secretary of State as in the past.
The aim is to put greater control of these new developments in local hands, with communities heavily involved in the design and delivery of high-quality new homes.
Private investors and developers would be brought on board to plan and deliver the projects for new towns or garden villages with the development corporation answering to the local council.
Views of the community heard
Mr Raab said: “We need to build the homes our communities need and I’m committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver. That’s why we’re giving councils the option of applying to establish development corporations.
“These will be locally accountable and must listen to the views of the community to ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.”
The new regulations are to be introduced to Parliament this week and debated by MPs before becoming law. The new towns will operate in the same way as the corporations that delivered post-war new towns such as Milton Keynes.
This latest change follows the announcement earlier this year of the creation of a “corridor” of garden villages between Oxford and Cambridge that aims to create a million new homes.