Aylesbury takes Advantage of DCLG cash boost for garden towns

Buckinghamshire Advantage has announced the allocation of 165 new plots at its Aylesbury Woodlands site as part of an additional £2.5m cash injection into garden towns unveiled by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Javid confirmed the additional cash boost to speed up the delivery of over 155,000 new homes in the proposed garden towns across England at this week’s Conservative Party conference.

The funding will support the development of nine new locally-led garden towns at Bicester, Didcot, Basingstoke, Otterpool Park in Kent, Taunton, Harlow-Gilston, North Northamptonshire and North Essex as well as the Aylesbury site.

Javid said: “Locally-led garden towns have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need. This new funding will help support the construction of more than 155,000 homes in nine places across the country.New communities not only deliver homes, but also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies.”

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Bjorn Howard, group CEO of Aster Group, said: “The housing market is broken so it’s encouraging to see the government getting on the front foot. Putting social housing at the top of the agenda is a welcome move from the secretary of state and the sector will await the green paper with interest.

“There is a growing need for more choice in the market. The industry has gone through a significant transformation in recent years and it is now well-placed to play a role in solving the affordability crisis – through vital tenures like shared ownership and the provision of affordable rent. There are still widespread misconceptions over how shared ownership works* and the sector and government need to work together to provide a range of housing options that work for everyone in society.”

The first allocation saw investment by the Right To Build Task Force in Aylesbury Woodlands as part of the larger Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, which will include commercial opportunities, transport infrastructure, housing and leisure facilities. Buckinghamshire Advantage, the delivery arm of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP), will use the garden town funding to bring on serviced plots for custom building on the 1,100 home site.

Richard Harrington, chief executive of Buckinghamshire Advantage, said: “Aylesbury Vale is already delivering houses at a phenomenal rate, but we’re very interested in the Government’s take on disrupting the market. This means adding to the volume housebuilders’ output, but diversifying housing supply to do more for our communities and addressing housing affordability. This is where custom build comes in.

“Woodlands is a site where the normal market wouldn’t venture due to viability. This is because there’s no planning context, it’s on a flood plain and also requires primary infrastructure. Effectively it was planning white space, and perfect for a public private partnership, and a chance to do something new.”

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