Masthead Local Govt - Planning

Councils to be able to apply to establish new town development corporations

Councils will be able to set up locally accountable new town development corporations to promote new homes, Housing Minister Dominic Raab has said.

These would be similar to the corporations used to create new towns in the post-war decades - but rarely used since - though will be locally rather than nationally controlled.

The corporations are intended for places seeking to create garden towns and will be responsible for master planning and project development.

They will be accountable to the councils concerned, and expected to involve communities, including by allowing residents to influence how homes are delivered.

Normal planning requirements will apply including Green Belt safeguards.

Corporations will be led by teams of council representatives, community stakeholders, experts in project delivery and other partner organisations.

Raab said: “We need to build the homes our communities need and I’m committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver.

“That’s why we’re giving councils the option of applying to establish development corporations. These will be locally accountable and must listen to the views of the community to ensure that the right homes are built in the right places.”

Local Government Association housing spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “The LGA has long-called for oversight of local development corporations to be carried out by councils, so that local communities can have as much say as possible about developments in their areas.

“It is positive that the Government has listened to the views of local communities on local development corporations.”

He said though that the quickest way to get new homes built would be to lift the housing borrowing cap and enable councils to borrow to build.

Mark Smulian

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