In this section:

ARCH annual report


The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.


Download it here.

Bids invited for three new garden cities Matthew Warburton - 17/04/2014

Welwyn_300In a speech this week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a CLG prospectus inviting bids from councils wishing to establish locally-led garden cities of 15,000 or more homes. There is no fixed deadline for bids and each submission will be considered on its merits.


The Government distances itself from the previous government's Eco Towns initiative by insisting that theirs is "a local solution, giving communities the powers to choose sites, plans and designs… rather than Whitehall imposing what it thinks best for local people. Consequently, bids will have to demonstrate support from all local authorities in which the new city is to be sited, including the county council in two-tier areas, and include proposals for local community involvement in taking the proposal forward.


Other criteria that bids are expected to meet are that they propose developments at or above 15,000 homes, with good access to transport links. There should be robust delivery arrangements, possibly publicly-led arms-length companies, or public-private joint ventures, or, where judged necessary, a Development Corporation as is proposed for Ebbsfleet. Proposals must also demonstrate that they are commercially viable, drawing in private capital and using land value uplift to fund infrastructure. Use of brownfield land is encouraged.


Most of the capital funding the Government proposes to make available to successful bids will come in the form of recoverable loans (in order to square this initiative with fiscal priorities, these loans, because recoverable, are judged not to score against public borrowing limits). A prospectus has already been issued for £1 billion in loans over the next five years from the Large Sites Infrastructure Fund, with £109 million available in 2014/15 (bids by 30 May).


Prospectuses for a Custom Build Fund of £150 million over the next 5 years, and a Builders Finance Fund of £150 million in 2015/16 and £375 in 2016/17, also in the form of recoverable loans, are due to be published in the summer. Otherwise, bidders are encouraged to consider how grants from the Local Growth Fund might be used to facilitate the development of Garden Cities, but there is no new money involved.


These are tough constraints on new proposals. It will be interesting to see how many bids come forward.

Like emailLink
ARCH Member Comments 3 people like this