Housing Minister Gavin Barwell today announced that Kent is to get a new garden town in addition to similar projects already planned in Bicester, Didcot, Basingstoke, Essex and Northamptonshire.
Outline plans revealed in May this year by Shepway District Council and Folkestone Racecourse, which owns the land to the west of Folkestone, are to get official backing. The new town will include seven primary schools and three secondary schools as well as several doctor’s surgeries.
The site, called Otterpool Park, will create some 12,000 homes for approximately 29,000 people although local agents will be waiting a long time to get in on the act. The town is not scheduled for completion until 2046 and may face several hurdles including a well-organised and vociferous local campaign against the project, which will swallow up three villages.
The new town is part of a three-pronged policy announced today to achieve the government’s aim to build an additional million homes by 2020. It includes an £18 million fund to help councils tackle planning logjams on behalf of builders, and the creation of six new Housing Zones to encourage 10,000 new properties on brownfield sites.
These are to be in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, Grimsby and Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Sandwell in the West Midlands, Blackburn and Burnley in Lancashire, and the Wirral in Merseyside.
Last month Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £3 billion fund to help smaller developers and a further £2 billion to build new homes on surplus public sector land.