Infrastructure bill amendment lays foundation for the delivery of new garden cities

Housing and planning charity the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) has welcomed a proposed amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which lays the foundation for the delivery of high quality new communities.

The new clause, tabled today by Lord Davies of Oldham and Lord McKenzie of Luton, stems from the TCPA’s publication New Towns Act 2015, and defines the objective of development corporations as securing the long term sustainable development of new communities.

TCPA chief executive Kate Henderson said:

“Bringing forward a new generation of Garden Cities has cross-party support as part of the solution to tackling Britain’s chronic housing crisis.

However, if our politicians are serious about delivering high quality, beautiful and inclusive new Garden Cities then we must ensure that they are delivered with strong social objectives, bringing about positive impacts on local people and communities.

Existing New Towns legislation is sound in its approach to delivering large-scale new communities but needs modernisation to make it fit for purpose in today’s policy landscape. That is why we strongly support the amendment to Infrastructure Bill which provides an opportunity to make existing New Town legislation fit for purpose in the 21st century, and creates an essential foundation for modern day planning to deliver the great homes and communities that the nation deserves.”

The amendment sets out eight ways in which new town development corporations can achieve sustainable new communities, including through contributing to the cultural and artistic development of the town, promoting high quality and inclusive design and ensuring open, participative and accountable decision making. The amendment also states that development corporations should contribute to the mitigation and adaptation of climate change measures consistent with the objectives of the Climate Change Act 2008.

TCPA chief executive Kate Henderson added:

“The planning system originally grew out of a powerful recognition that the places in which we live have a huge impact on the quality of our lives – and a collective view that, as a society, we should aspire to create places in which everyone can thrive. It is this foundation of planning – creating high quality places for people – that this amendment to the Infrastructure Bill is seeking to address. We hope the amendment gains cross-party support.”