Liberal Democrats plan at least 10 new garden cities

Liberal Democrats plan at least 10 new garden cities. Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrats plan at least 10 new garden cities to be created in England building 300,000 new homes a year.

A state-backed Housing Investment Bank will provide long-term capital for major new settlements and help attract finance for home-building projects under the proposals.

Under the plans the government could directly commission the construction of new homes to ensure that they are built at sufficient speed with proper infrastructure.

The package of measures include plans set out by Nick Clegg for a "rent to own" scheme where a tenant's monthly payments buy a stake in their house, and a proposal for government loans to fund the deposit for a rental property.

Mr Clegg said: "Liberal Democrats believe everyone should have the opportunity to have a decent home at a cost they can afford.

"That's why we have increased house building in government but we want to go much further.

"And we will help young people who want a home of their own with radical plans to help them buy or rent."

The Lib Dems said the new garden cities would be built in areas where there is local support, providing tens of thousands of new homes.

The direct commissioning of homes by government agencies is already being trialled at a former RAF base in Cambridgeshire and is seen as a way of boosting construction when the market alone fails to deliver sufficient numbers.