Nick Clegg calls for 'garden cities'

Nick Clegg is calling for the creation of a new generation of new towns and garden cities to address Britain's growing housing crisis. He will say the Government is making available £225 million in funding which will build 48,600 new homes.

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Housing shortage has created 'generational shift' in debate

Nick Clegg will say that the shortage of homes for young people has created a "generational shift" in the debate, with people becoming more receptive to the idea of new developments which in the past would have been strongly resisted.

The babyboomers of the fifties and sixties, people who were largely catered for by the massive housing expansion after the Second World War, are now watching their children struggle.

The plight of the next generation is making what was an abstract housing shortage increasingly tangible and real. And as we, as a society, become more open to development that creates the space for politicians to be bold.

– Nick Clegg

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Letchworth and Welwyn to inspire new cities

Nick Clegg will say the new cities should draw inspiration from the garden cities of early 20th century, such as Letchworth and Welwyn, and the new towns of the post-war era like Milton Keynes and Stevenage.

It's time to rediscover that proud tradition of creating new places.

We can either condemn ourselves to haphazard urban sprawl - the surest way to damage the countryside, we can cram ever more people into existing settlements, concreting over gardens and parks - and bear in mind we already build the smallest homes in Western Europe, or we can build places people want to live.

Places which draw on the best of British architecture and design, which have their own identity and character, which - rather than destroy the countryside, actually have a crucial role in keeping it intact.

– Nick Clegg

Clegg pledges nearly 50,000 new homes

Nick Clegg will today say the Government is making available £225 million in funding to "unblock" a series of major local housing projects which have "hit a wall".

Nick Clegg is calling for nearly 50,00 new homes Credit: PA Wire

Together, the schemes - which range in size from 4,000 units to 9,500 - will provide up to 48,600 new homes.

However Mr Clegg will say the shortage of homes is becoming so acute, there will in future need to be even more ambitious, with new developments of 15,000 to 25,000 homes

What are garden cities?

  • Garden cities were conceived by Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928).
  • His plan was for limited-size cities built on municipally owned low-cost agricultural land.
  • Each city would offer the benefits of urban living without the crowding and squalor of the Victorian city.
  • The centre of each city would be a garden, ringed by civil and cultural amenities, city hall, museum, library, and theatre.
  • Howard envisaged clusters of garden cities, linked by railways, and powered by new low-pollution electricity.
  • Prototype garden cities were built at Letchworth from 1903 and Welwyn from 1919, greatly influencing the new towns built after the Second World War.

Sources: Oxford Dictionary of Geography and Oxford Dictionary of British History.

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