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Government to announce plans for new garden city

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Plans for a new garden city in Bicester, Oxfordshire are set to be announced ahead of the government’s Autumn Statement tomorrow (3 December)

Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, is expected to unveil plans for the major 13,000-home development on brownfield land later today.

The scheme will be the first of three new garden cities promised by the government back in April to get off the ground.

The government is expected to announce £100 million of funding to kick-start the plans. Around £55 million will be provided as loans to developers who will design the development according to ‘garden city principles’, while more than £44 million will be spent on roads.

Speaking to The Telegraph, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, said this was the first in ‘another wave of garden cities’.

He added: ‘Bicester will get help from the Government with both significant capital investment and in helping developers build the amenities that are required to be a true garden town.

‘I hope many other towns will follow Bicester’s lead and we will see more garden cities spring up that have the affordable, well-designed homes with proper transport links, services and amenities which our young families want and need.’

The UK’s first eco-town, masterplanned by Terry Farrell, has already begun construction in north-west Bicester. Construction began on the project in January almost seven years after the former Labour government’s high-profile initiative was launched (AJ 30.01.14).

Plans for the Bicester garden city come after the government announced it was ploughing £200 million of public investment into a 15,000-home garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent as part of the last budget (AJ 17.03.14).

Ebenezer Howard first set out plans for self-sufficient Garden Cities ringed by agricultural belts in 1898. Twenty-seven new towns were built in the UK in the post-war era following the success of England’s pioneering Letchworth and Welwyn garden cities.

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