New powers for councils to deliver new towns and garden communities in England
Councils in England are to be given new powers to help them deliver the homes their communities need under proposed regulations published by the Housing Minister.
Under the new rules councils will be able to seek Government’s approval to launch a New Town Development Corporation, which will be responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities in their area.
The new bodies themselves will be responsible for master planning and project development, bringing on board private investment, partnering with developers and overseeing the completion of a new town or garden village with each expected to deliver tens of thousands of new homes.
Held accountable by councils, the development corporations will be expected to involve communities in their projects, which includes allowing residents to have their say on how high quality homes are delivered.
Subject to the normal planning requirements, including safeguards that protect the Green Belt, the corporations will be led by teams made up of council representatives, community stakeholders, experts in delivering major projects and other partner organisations involved in the delivery of sites.
This measure is part of the Government’s wide-ranging programme of planning reform and targeted funding to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
‘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,’ said Housing Minister Dominic Raab.
‘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,’ he added.
Previously, all New Town Development Corporations created by the Secretary of State remained accountable to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Raab has introduced the regulations to Parliament, which are subject to further debate by MPs and will come into force later this year once approved by Parliament.