Garden Village ambitions receive funding boost

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A further £135,000 in Central Government funding has been received to help Blaby District Council continue its ambitious plans for a potential future Garden Village site.

Set against the challenge for local authorities to provide large numbers of additional new homes in the coming decades, the Council has worked proactively to carry out its responsibility of planning for this need.

Whetstone Pastures, a proposed development in the south-east of the district, was one of only 19 local authorities to be awarded Garden Village status in 2019 by the then Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, now Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The Council has previously received £300,000 of capacity funding since this status was awarded in 2019.

Garden Villages are a Government initiative for proposed developments of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. The status ensures that any site has a mixture of housing, housing types, green spaces, employment opportunities, and social infrastructure, all delivered with strong local vision and engagement, with the aim of creating sustainable, vibrant, diverse and, importantly, affordable communities.

The Council has now been given a further £135,000 for the next stage of this pro-active growth of the district to ensure that larger-scale, sustainable development sites are utilised to be the home of future district residents and to help prevent existing communities lose their sense of identity.

This capacity funding will be used for specialists advising the Council on matters including master planning, urban design, and viability. Blaby District Council considers it vital that developments like this are shaped to include those things deemed to be essential for a sustainable and future proofed true Garden Village Community.

The funding will also boost resource within the Council’s Planning Department, helping to ensure that whilst the development if approved is still many years away, Blaby District Council are able to input into the proposal at the earliest possible stage.

It is important to note that the site does not benefit from planning permission, nor does it have any planning status in terms of an allocation in the Council’s Local Plan. Any proposals must go through the planning application process before receiving any permission.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “This Government funding is something all residents should be delighted with.

“We have to keep making sure that the homes we need to build are placed in sustainable communities. If we don’t do this our only other choice is to add on large numbers of houses to existing villages.

“If permission for this proposed Garden Village is given, we can work hard to plan and take control of how new communities look. Our track record with New Lubbesthorpe proves this is something we are excellent at doing.”

“We are confident that Blaby District Council can and will deliver and, in turn, protect our existing towns and villages.”

Updates and information about Whetstone Pastures will be available on the website.

24 May 2022