The construction of one million UK homes by 2020 seemed completely unachievable when it was set by the government. However, recently-released figures show that it can and has been done. A total of 217,350 new homes were built in the 2016/17 financial year, which puts the government on course to smash its goal by the year provided.
But, did the sector just get lucky and can it do it again? One project that many in government and industry think could significantly boost the UK housing sector is garden villages — settlements built on brownfield land away from established communities.
To find out what these construction projects are — and how they could affect your industry and the British economy as a whole — check out our article.
The definition of a garden village and its construction
The creation of a garden village involves careful design and exceptional attention-to-detail in order for it to fall within the boundaries of the building project’s style. A garden village must be attractive, of high-quality and be expertly designed. These projects came about as an answer to lack of housing in the UK, so their design is focused on easing this strain — particularly for first-time buyers. Alongside garden villages, expect to see the construction of garden towns. These building projects are very similar to garden villages in design and effect, although they are much larger — with some experts predicting they could hold up to 48,000 units.
There are several ways to identify a garden village. Firstly, it consists of 1,500-10,000 houses that are all part of a single, self-contained community, which is often surrounded by a lot of green land. Secondly, they must be constructed away from a town or city, which means there is a lot of scope for garden villages to create their own identity. Each garden village has a different set up and usually, they have their own schools, shops and transport stations to boost their independence and self-reliance.
Considering its lofty housing target, it’s no shock that the government are backing credible housing schemes like garden villages. It plans to invest £6 million towards funding these 14 new garden villages, as well as a further £1.4 million to support three garden towns. What’s more, every garden village and town will gain access to the £2.3 billion housing Infrastructure Fund, which was put forward in the Autumn Statement last year.
What are the locations for upcoming garden villages?
You’ll spot garden villages popping up all over the UK, including in locations around: Cumbria, Derbyshire, Cornwall, Merseyside, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Lancaster, Essex, and Devon, among other destinations. Plans are also in place to build garden towns in Taunton, Aylesbury, and Harlow and Gilston, which are expected to provide an extra 200,000 homes.
Garden villages and potential local life ramifications
When you’re looking at ideas from a bird’s eye view, it’s sometimes easy to miss how these will affect current situation — or in the case of garden villages, local life. Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, commented:
“The programme is about trying to make sure that we design a community infrastructure — jobs, but also school places, GPs’ surgeries, transport services — that make these places not just dormitory suburbs.”
Garden villages are built with their own facilities, including schools and general practices, so they should instead cause the creation of more jobs and facilities in a district rather than put a strain on current services. Also, these building projects will likely supply Britain with more than 50,000 homes. Consequently, we should witness a rise in manual work and job opportunities in these regions, which will help to drive money to several parts of the UK.
It’s positive news that major services are not likely to be adversely affected, however, an increase in population almost always impacts negatively on transport. More people living nearby usually means more people on roads and using public transport, which could have a negative effect on locals. However, this could be controlled if the garden village has its own transport links and roads for commuting in and out of the area.
Future garden industry trends as a result of garden villages
Alongside the economic benefits of garden villages for the UK, it seems likely that the gardening and outdoor sector is set to reap rewards from this rise in private gardens and communal areas. Expect higher consumer demand for:
- Decking (especially composite decking boards).
- Outdoor illuminations.
- Artificial lawns.
- Vintage garden furniture.
- Hot tubs.
First-time buyers and the government alike are sure to be very excited with the prospect of more garden villages to boost housing availability and boost target-hitting numbers.