A COUNCIL has received a government grant to help it create a ‘garden village’.

Vale of White Horse District Council was given £150,000 to help plan for new open spaces, high-quality housing, employment opportunities, transport links and community facilities at Dalton Barracks near Abingdon, once it has been decommissioned.

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The government announced in 2016 that it would sell off Dalton Barracks, Vauxhall Barracks in Didcot and St David’s Barracks in Bicester by 2029.

The council is now looking at how the funding can be used in the most effective way towards turning the Abingdon area, which is allocated as a development site in the Vale’s Local Plan, into a desirable garden village.

The draft Local Plan 2031 proposes removing land at the barracks from the Green Belt to build a residential development of 1,200 homes. 

One of the main requirements of garden village status is to put healthy places and vibrant new communities at the forefront.

This means that plans will include large open spaces and parkland for residents to use and enjoy, and areas for new community facilities, shops, businesses and services.

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The team behind the project is set to meet the surrounding community and parish councils to make sure their views are considered at an early stage and to make sure nearby neighbourhood plans are respected.

They will also discuss ways to tackle climate change by using sustainable materials, introducing renewable energy projects and including biodiversity.

Cabinet member for development and regeneration councillor Bethia Thomas said about the grant: “This is an exciting first stage to transform an old military base into a top-notch garden village.

“The funding helps us to start building a sustainable plan for future generations and we look forward to listening to residents, community groups and parish councils on their views throughout the development process.”