On Friday 29th June Government published guidance to support the new regulations amending the New Towns Act to create a new, parallel route for the creation of ‘locally accountable' New Town Development Corporations.

The guidance provides important detail to support the new regulations, and is a step in the right direction for a new generation of locally-led New Towns.  It strengthens Government’s expectations on key place-making issues such as long-term stewardship and inclusive and high quality design. This includes a requirement that when the Development Corporations have fulfilled their development role and are 'dissolved', sufficient assets are provided to community stewardship bodies to ‘meet the current and future cultural, environmental and social needs of the town’. The lack of stewardship requirements in the original New Towns Act was a key failure, so it is great to see this recognised in the guidance.

TCPA particularly welcomes the inclusion of Garden City principles in the guidance, and we urge local authorities pursuing this approach to adopt the principles as a framework; enabling the creation of genuinely affordable, inclusive, high quality and climate resilient new communities with the highest environmental standards.

Some concerns remain about how local people will be involved in the process, and we hope government will require strong governance arrangements including ensuring there is always a public inquiry prior to the designation of a New Town and innovative approaches to governance as the community develops.  To realise the full potential of this opportunity we also urge the government to provide clear strategic national policy providing a framework of support for local authorities to identify need, location, and support delivery.

We look forward to working with the government and any authorities who come forward to use this approach.