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County Council welcomes garden communities cash boost

13 February 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has today, Wednesday 13 February, announced a £1.815m funding pledge to support the development of Garden Communities in North Essex, Brentwood, Harlow and Gilston.

Garden Community projects not only provide much needed local housing they also generate opportunities for employment, green space and other uses, helping residents to meet the majority of their daily needs in their local area. 

North Essex Garden Communities is set to receive £1million of the funding with £715,000 going to Harlow Gilston Garden Town and £100,000 to Brentwood Council to support development of its Dunton Hills proposal.

Cllr John Spence CBE, Chairman of North Essex Garden Communities Ltd and Essex County Council representative on the NEGC board, welcomed the funding which will enable NEGC to continue to take forward the work it needs to do in order to bring forward new garden communities.

He said: “The Government rightly recognises the importance of North Essex both in terms of its economic potential, and also in the work being done to look at how homes of the future will be provided in a manner that supports the creation of cohesive communities and ensures the necessary social and strategic infrastructure is provided.

“The partnership of councils has been very clear that housing, jobs, economic growth, skills and infrastructure are inextricably linked. The best way of achieving these aims in the long-term is through the creation of purpose-built new communities.

“This is of course a long-term project and NEGC is undertaking the preparatory work that a traditional developer would do ahead of any large scheme coming forward. It should be welcomed that the Government recognises this approach and has continued to have confidence in what is a nationally important project.

“Equally, we recognise the need to spend the money of national and local taxpayers carefully and responsibly."

Guy Nicholson, Chair of the Harlow Garden Town Board said: “I am delighted that Homes England have made this additional investment into the Garden Town. It is a great testament to the collaboration and hard work that the Garden Town team, the partners and stakeholders have already achieved and all can be very proud.  There is no doubt that the Garden Town will deliver much needed new homes and be a great boost to the local economy. This investment enables us to draw on all of our strengths and aspirations and take the next step in realising the Garden Town with confidence."