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Housing pressures in England are becoming acute: recent under-supply, particularly of social housing; demographic trends towards an ageing and more long-lived population and greater numbers of people living alone (but still requiring decent living space); and the rise of second-home ownership are all contributing to the problems we face, and are just some of the factors contributing to alarming increases in the cost of housing.
The TCPA believes that the full range of planning solutions – urban regeneration, sustainable urban extensions or, where appropriate, new settlements – should be available to communities to choose from as they search for the most sustainable pattern of development locally. In 2007 the TCPA produced the ‘Best Practice in Urban Extension and New Settlements’ report. This study is a not statement of or any alteration to this ‘balanced portfolio’ approach, or indeed of any other TCPA policy. It is, however, an important study for the TCPA and for planning in general. It endorses no one particular solution as right in all cases, but provides an opportunity for us to focus on urban extensions and new settlements – the first TCPA project to do so for nine years. The study must be seen in the context of recent and ongoing TCPA work to encourage best practice in regeneration and the greening of our cities – an increasingly urgent imperative given the growing need for urban cooling measures as the effects of climate change take hold.
In the New Towns and Town Extensions policy statement the TCPA emphasises that new towns may be a suitable form of development on previously developed sites in rural areas (such as disused airfields) as well as on greenfield land. It does not, however, argue in favour of new town building in all circumstances. The TCPA recognises the importance of regenerating the run-down parts of cities, as long as this does not involve building at such high residential densities that people’s reasonable housing aspirations cannot be met. Regeneration and greenfield building are not incompatible opposites: they are both necessary parts of any overall development programme designed to meet planned requirements in full.
Download the TCPA policy statement on New Towns and Town Extensions (published September 2002)