Garden city idea is back on the agenda

Garden city idea is back on the agenda

Ed Vaizey MP

Planning minister Nick Boles

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A GARDEN city for Oxfordshire has been proposed again, this time by planning minister Nick Boles.

The minister suggested the idea to Wantage MP Ed Vaizey in response to his call for an “urgent review” over Oxfordshire’s housing target.

In a letter to Mr Vaizey, Mr Boles said: “We are keen to support the establishment of locally-supported new settlements in line with garden city principles – providing not just the homes we need but high quality, well-designed places.”

Newbury planning consultant Ken Dijksman previously revealed to the Oxford Mail he was drawing up a plan for a 30,000-home garden city on land between Abingdon, Steventon and East Hanney.

The new conurbation was proposed for more than 2,000 hectares of land in the Vale of White Horse, previously earmarked for a reservoir and an international airport.

It was not clear last night at what stage those plans had reached.

The Government published its prospectus for locally-led Garden Cities on April 14.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he would not impose a garden city on Oxfordshire, but invited local areas to submit their own plans.

Chancellor George Osborne has already promised £200m to provide infrastructure for a new settlement in Ebbsfleet, Kent.

Liberal Democrat group leader on Vale of White Horse District Council, Richard Webber, welcomed the suggestion of a garden city from anyone.

He said: “We need to plan properly, even if it takes five or 10 years, and garden cities need to be part of that discussion.

“A garden city would actually ease the housing problem, certainly in time for our next Local Plan for development, if not now.

“If the Government said ‘we will relieve the pressure while you undertake to assign a garden city or two’ then we could have a properly-planned system put together to high environmental standards with money to pay for proper infrastructure.

“We urgently need a conversation. People need to understand we need more houses and we have to be brave.”

Mr Vaizey wrote to Mr Boles calling on the minister to “urgently review” the government-approved Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which set Oxfordshire’s housing need at 100,000 homes in 15 years.

County polticians have spoken out against the SHMA figures, including Conservative Henley MP John Howell, as reported in the Oxford Mail on May 13.

The county’s district council leaders, Matthew Barber, Ann Ducker, Barry Norton and Barry Wood, all backed the call for an urgent review.

The minister’s reply to Mr Vaizey’s letter read: “Your needs assessment will give you a clear sense of the challenge you face in providing enough houses to meet local need.”

He went on: “I know that there are ambitious plans for Bicester which we have been discussing with Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP and which we are keen to support. I hope these comments have been helpful and I would be more than happy to meet with you and all of the Oxford [sic] councils to discuss.”

Mr Vaizey was unavailable to comment on Mr Boles’ response.

LAND GRABBING PLANS PUT FORWARD IN PAST

  • 1993: Thames Water propose building a £1bn reservoir on the site. The Group Against Reservoir Development (GARD) is formed.
  • 2007: The idea is proposed again and GARD reform to fight it once more
  • July 2013: Ken Dijksman first reveals plans for a 30,000-home garden city, left
  • August 2013: Bristol architects firm Pleiade Associates submits proposals for an £18.2bn, four-runway airport to the Government’s airports commission
  • September 2013: Progressive Aviation Group submits an even bigger, though less detailed, plan. Both plans were rejected.

IDEA DATES BACK TO LATE 19th CENTURY

  • The garden city movement was founded in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard as a way of fighting increasing urbanisation
  • Howard proposed building self-contained settlements, complete with schools, roads, green spaces and carefully-planned houses, instead of the uncontrolled sprawl of industrial terraces popular at the time
  • Settlements which balanced development and open space were pioneered at Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and Hampstead, north London.

Top News
Our top stories:

Speed limit to be cut to 50mph along stretch of A34 from December 1

Oxford Mail: A34 traffic alert

5:10pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

THE speed limit on a stretch of the A34 will be cut to 50mph for six months to allow drainage work to be carried out.

Colourful theme for fundraiser’s funeral

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

A MUSCULAR dystrophy sufferer who raised funds in the fight against the disease has died aged 27.

Delays on trains from London Paddington to Oxford due to signalling problems at Ealing Broadway

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

3:21pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

TRAIN services from London Paddington to Oxford are being affected by cancellations and half-hour delays as a result of signalling problems.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

12:04pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

Check out what is in our interactive back page today...

Updated: Traffic lights back on after crash in Abingdon Road

Oxford Mail:

8:41am Tuesday 25th November 2014

The traffic lights are not working on the A4144 Abingdon Road at B4495 Weirs Lane.

What is in our interactive front page for today?

Oxford Mail:

10:38am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Here's today's interactive front page, with live links to the featured stories and also the latest headlines constantly updated

Defibrillator appeal is bang on target

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

A CAMPAIGN to install hundreds of units of life-saving equipment across the county has smashed the halfway point.

Tumble dryer fire at house in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

9:12am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Fire crews were called to a house near Bicester last night after a tumble dryer caught fire.

Westgate meeting

Oxford Mail: An artist’s impression of the new-look £400m shopping centre drawn up by the Westgate Alliance

8:30am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Final plans for the £400m redevelopment of the Westgate Shopping Centre are set to be approved tonight.

NHS staff strike to chants of ‘low pay, no way’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 25th November 2014

MIDWIVES, support workers and cleaners were among the NHS staff on strike at the John Radcliffe Hospital yesterday.

Rail company offers refund after delays

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

First Great Western has announced a full refund for some commuters who experienced severe disruption last month.

Campaigners will meet to discuss student flats

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Campaigners have called a public meeting in Jericho to discuss a report produced for Oxford University on the controversial Castle Mill student flats.

Exhibition explores legacy of our most famous name

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

THREE hundred years after his death, his name is still one of the most famous in Oxford although you might not actually know much about him.

Man held after rape in car park of pub

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

7:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

A man has been arrested after a woman was allegedly raped outside a village pub.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:55am Fri 23 May 14

downsview says...

Garden City good idea but don't build it here it needs to be built next to Oxford off Grenoble& Horspath Road's with an exemplar guided bus system running to City Centre Hospitals at Headington new Parkway Station at Redbridge & onto the A34 where it will link with a system that serves Milton Park Harwell & A40.

SODC need to be told to get real by Boles & local MP's
Garden City good idea but don't build it here it needs to be built next to Oxford off Grenoble& Horspath Road's with an exemplar guided bus system running to City Centre Hospitals at Headington new Parkway Station at Redbridge & onto the A34 where it will link with a system that serves Milton Park Harwell & A40. SODC need to be told to get real by Boles & local MP's downsview
  • Score: 1

9:57am Fri 23 May 14

Richard of Wantage says...

Has Nick Boles lost the plot?

In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000!

So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000.

Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets.
Has Nick Boles lost the plot? In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000! So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000. Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets. Richard of Wantage
  • Score: 6

10:21am Fri 23 May 14

TobyB1960 says...

Richard of Wantage wrote:
Has Nick Boles lost the plot?

In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000!

So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000.

Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets.
Richard, I totally agree with you.

Localism we were promised and what do we get more big government making money for their party donors.

Why can't district councils decide how many new homes they require and where they are built with consultation with the people who live there.
[quote][p][bold]Richard of Wantage[/bold] wrote: Has Nick Boles lost the plot? In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000! So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000. Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets.[/p][/quote]Richard, I totally agree with you. Localism we were promised and what do we get more big government making money for their party donors. Why can't district councils decide how many new homes they require and where they are built with consultation with the people who live there. TobyB1960
  • Score: 4

11:12am Fri 23 May 14

downsview says...

TobyB1960 wrote:
Richard of Wantage wrote:
Has Nick Boles lost the plot?

In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000!

So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000.

Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets.
Richard, I totally agree with you.

Localism we were promised and what do we get more big government making money for their party donors.

Why can't district councils decide how many new homes they require and where they are built with consultation with the people who live there.
Fine for those whose dc's are able to lan for their area but what about Oxford City whose boundaries are restricted by the dc's ?
In the meantime the population is growing - plz don't debate the reasons why here - and homes are needed.
The dc's either get real or carry on doing an impression of Canute
[quote][p][bold]TobyB1960[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richard of Wantage[/bold] wrote: Has Nick Boles lost the plot? In response to Mr Vaizey's request of an “urgently review” of the SHMA which resulted in Oxfordshire needing to build 100,000 homes in 15 years, his response is why not add another 30,000! So Vale of the White Horse district council's new house build allocation for the next 15 years will have gone from 14,000 to 21,000 and now 51,000. Please, roll on the next general election and lets get rid of these Muppets.[/p][/quote]Richard, I totally agree with you. Localism we were promised and what do we get more big government making money for their party donors. Why can't district councils decide how many new homes they require and where they are built with consultation with the people who live there.[/p][/quote]Fine for those whose dc's are able to lan for their area but what about Oxford City whose boundaries are restricted by the dc's ? In the meantime the population is growing - plz don't debate the reasons why here - and homes are needed. The dc's either get real or carry on doing an impression of Canute downsview
  • Score: -2

12:22pm Fri 23 May 14

Severian says...

But we ARE having localism!

Central government is asking local people "Where do you want your 50,000 new houses put?"
But we ARE having localism! Central government is asking local people "Where do you want your 50,000 new houses put?" Severian
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Fri 23 May 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

just get it built we need the houses for gods sake.. instead we have local councils dragging the process out dithering with local neighbourhood development plans and other pointless exercises that the electorate are not interested in. Build the houses that people need and the prices will flatten out and slowly start to fall, supply and demand!

Wont happen tho, too may rich tories and condems with vested investments in properties and farms in oxfordshire
just get it built we need the houses for gods sake.. instead we have local councils dragging the process out dithering with local neighbourhood development plans and other pointless exercises that the electorate are not interested in. Build the houses that people need and the prices will flatten out and slowly start to fall, supply and demand! Wont happen tho, too may rich tories and condems with vested investments in properties and farms in oxfordshire yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -2

5:27pm Sat 24 May 14

Angharad12 says...

Giving major developers allocations for large numbers of houses won't reduce prices. They will only build them at a price that suits them and wait until the market is right so they make maximum profit. They are quite happy with land banks, as they add to their asset value and increase their share value and they will only build when it's financially
favourable. It's quite noticeable how all this talk of building houses is stimulating the market and pushing the prices up.
Giving major developers allocations for large numbers of houses won't reduce prices. They will only build them at a price that suits them and wait until the market is right so they make maximum profit. They are quite happy with land banks, as they add to their asset value and increase their share value and they will only build when it's financially favourable. It's quite noticeable how all this talk of building houses is stimulating the market and pushing the prices up. Angharad12
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree