Tories accused of 'suppressing' plan for two new garden cities

Officials are said to be in a "panic" about a Whitehall report calling for two new garden cities in southern England, Senior Liberal Democrats have told the Telegraph.

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Housing Minister dismisses calls for new garden cities

The Housing Minister has dismissed calls for new garden cities amid Liberal Democrat claims the Tories are suppressing a report calling for such a plan to be brought forward.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins with David Cameron. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "As promised in the coalition agreement, this Government has scrapped top-down Whitehall planning, included ending the last administration's failed so-called eco-towns programme which built nothing but resentment.

"Instead, this Government is committed to working with local communities to build more homes and promote sustainable development. This includes providing finance for those large scale housing projects that are locally-supported and have the full backing of the community."

New cities plan modelled on garden city movement

The document understood to recommend two new garden cities is less than 50 pages long, and is modelled the original garden city movement at that created Letchworth and Welwyn in Hertfordshire.

President of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron. Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Tim Farron, Lib Dems party president, told the Telegraph: “It is time to break the log jam. This report needs to come out now and come out quickly. The Tories are displaying a Nimby attitude towards garden cities.

“We need to grasp this nettle and turn all these warm words about housing into action.

"For a growing number of people, the aspiration of home ownership, with all the security it brings, has become a distant dream. We need to do much more to help people realise their dreams. Garden cities offer a real chance for us to help tackle this problem and boost the economy.”


Tories accused of 'suppressing' new garden cities report

Officials are said to be in a "panic" about a Whitehall report calling for two new garden cities in southern England, according to senior Liberal Democrats.

Garden cities have been suggested as a solution to the housing crisis. Credit: Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of suppressing the report which could see new settlements containing tens of thousands of homes built in Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire or Oxfordshire, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Cameron has been accused of a “Nimby attitude” because he fears a a backlash in Tory heartlands ahead of the general election.

Earlier this week, the proposal was described deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as a “prospectus” for future developments.

Report: New garden cities for UK to tackle housing issue

A Whitehall report has recommended that two new cities are built in southern England to combat shortages in housing, according the The Telegraph.

According to the newspaper, the document was drawn up after the Prime Minister gave a speech supporting the idea nearly two years ago.

Parkway Gardens in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Credit: Google Street View

On Friday night, the Prime Minister is understood to have been accused by senior Liberal Democrats of suppressing the report and displaying a “Nimby attitude” through fear of a backlash in Tory heartlands ahead of the general election.

Garden cities were developed in the early years of the last century in an attempt to combine the best of town and country living and create healthy homes for working people.

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