Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said: “The call for expressions of interest for new garden cities is welcome. The prospectus is brief but to the point and addresses many of the key issues. That the prospectus is jointly launched by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government illustrates that the initiative has powerful cross-government endorsement. Following the Chancellor’s announcement of support for development in Ebbsfleet, the prospectus is a further step in the right direction, but the scale of the housing is such that Government needs to do more to address need now.”
The RTPI notes that the announcement does not come with new funding, or even more permission to borrow. Whilst the prospectus rightly emphasizes the importance of existing and planned transport infrastructure, the RTPI in its transport infrastructure paper suggests that we should be planning transport infrastructure and urban development together to unlock development opportunities, rather than relying on planning transport on its own and then working out where to put urban development afterwards.
The RTPI’s centenary project, celebrating the successes of mature planned communities has highlighted the importance to early garden cities of retaining development land value to support the delivery and continuing success of community infrastructure.
The RTPI, through Planning Aid England, has considerable expertise in community placemaking which will be critical to the success of these new planned communities.