New garden town for Norfolk comes amid bids for other new settlements in county
PUBLISHED: 12:47 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:55 22 July 2018
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The unveiling of a vision for a 10,000 home garden town in Norfolk comes amid a government drive for more new settlements to be built.
The idea of Norfolk having a garden settlement was first mooted in 2014, when urban designer David Rudlin called for Norwich to be one of dozens of towns to double in size and become a garden city.
Mr Rudlin’s call for more garden cities found favour with former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis, who was appointed to run a new National Infrastructure Commission in 2015.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, who was a local government minister at that time, said he was “very keen” on the concept and national housing policy expert Lord Taylor, at a conference at Norwich Research Park, last year supported them.
Norwich-based planners Lanpro have unveiled a vision for a new garden town between the villages of North Elmham, Billingford and Bintree in mid-Norfolk.
They believe the new town is in the perfect place, with the potential to make use of rail links, although it has already attracted controversy.
But other, smaller, new settlements have also been put forward.
As part of the process of putting together the Greater Norwich Local Plan – a blueprint for where new homes could be built in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk – garden villages have been mooted at Honingham Thorpe and near Hethel.
A garden town is a development of more than 10,000 homes. Garden villages are smaller settlements of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes
By 2020, more than 25,000 housing starts are expected in garden villages, towns and cities supported by the government.
Homes are already being built in several locations, including Bicester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Otterpool Park in Kent, Ebbsfleet, Aylesbury, Taunton and North Northants.
The government last year expanded its commitment to the concept, with a £6m fund over two years to support a further 14 garden villages and £1.4m for three garden towns in Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow/Gliston.
But the idea is not new. It dates back to the 19th century, when Ebenezer Howard proposed them as an alternative to urban slums.
Letchworth Garden City was the world’s first, in 1903, followed by Welwyn Garden City in 1920.