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Press release: APPG calls on Government to put New Towns centre stage in Budget

All-Party Parliamentary Group calls on Government to put New Towns centre stage in the 2018 Autumn Budget

27 July 2018 – The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on New Towns, which has been set up to celebrate the contribution made by the UK’s New Towns and to highlight the challenges they face, has written to the Chancellor with three key asks of the 2018 Autumn Budget:

1. New Towns should be included in a Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) Minister’s list of key responsibilities to help unlock their potential and give New Towns the national attention and focus they need and deserve.

2. Government should publish a New Towns prospectus setting out how they can support existing new towns to regenerate and grow through providing tailored Government support to local areas with ambitious and innovative proposals. This would include capacity funding.

3. Government should review the tools and powers local authorities need to transform the town centres of New Towns in order to unlock their potential for growth and renewal including the regeneration of shopping areas.

Chaired by Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, the APPG has published a manifesto to shine the political spotlight on growth opportunities in the UK’s existing New Towns.

Lucy Allan MP said:

“The New Towns are some of the fastest-growing and most successful communities in the UK and have enormous potential for future growth, but they are also facing significant regeneration challenges and are home to some of the most deprived communities.

“The New Towns’ design and architecture and strong sense of civic pride make them unique and could prove to be catalysts in their renewal. However, as a result of building at speed – and, often under the constraints of the day, using cheap materials – whole estates are now in need of renewal, putting a significant burden on local authorities, while tired-looking buildings affect contemporary perceptions of what were once ambitious schemes.

“There is a significant opportunity to turn the challenges faced by the UK’s New Towns into opportunities, which is why the APPG on New Towns has launched a manifesto and written to the Chancellor today.”

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the TCPA, which provides the secretariat for the APPG, said:

“The post-war New Towns programme was the most ambitious large-scale town-building programme ever undertaken in the UK, and today the New Towns provide homes for over 2.8million people.

“Through our research we have found councils often lack the capacity and resources to unlock the potential of the existing new towns. For this reason, one of the APPG’s key asks of Government is a New Towns prospectus setting out how they can support existing New Town regeneration and growth through providing tailored Government support to local areas with ambitious and innovative proposals. This would include capacity funding for councils along the lines of the Government’s locally-led garden villages, towns and cities programme and has the potential to ensure the revitalisation of the existing New Towns goes hand-in-hand with the Government’s support for a new generation of garden communities.”

Notes to editors

1. To read the full manifesto, sent to the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, click here.

2. The APPG includes the following members: Lucy Allan MP for Telford (Chair); Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Vice-Chair); Nick Thomas-Symonds; MP for Torfaen (Vice-Chair); Rachel MacLean; MP for Redditch (Vice-Chair); Henry Smith; MP for Crawley (Vice-Chair); Robert Halfon; MP for Harlow (Vice-Chair); Lord Best, Crossbencher (Vice-Chair); and the Town and Country Planning Association (APPG Secretariat). Iain Stewart is a former member of the APPG and is supportive of this manifesto, as a New Town constituency MP.

3. The objectives of the APPG are to:

* Change attitudes to New Towns and gain increased recognition for them.

* Make the case for investment in the regeneration and renewal of New Town infrastructure and other issues that specifically apply to New Towns.

* Positively help shape future Government policy.

4. To read more about the new towns APPG, visit the official web page: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/170928/new-towns.htm or https://www.www.tcpa.org.uk/new-towns

5. The Town and Country Planning Association www.www.tcpa.org.uk (TCPA) is an independent campaigning charity calling for more integrated planning based on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, diversity and community cohesion. The TCPA was instrumental in the campaign for the post-war new towns programme and has recently undertaken extensive research on lessons from the original garden cities and new towns. The research is available here: https://www.www.tcpa.org.uk/research-gcnt

6. For further information, please contact Jack Mulligan on 07825 707 546 or [email protected]

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