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Clegg's garden cities are 'not the answer'

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Clegg's garden cities are 'not the answer'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development

Green belt Green belt

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has said that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's call for more garden cities in the home counties is not the only answer to the housing crisis.

The group said the Government should not overlook the role that the incremental growth of rural settlements across England could play in filling the housing shortage.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "We understand the Government is worried about the slow progress of localism but Nick Clegg has failed to recognise that without growth, the lack of new housing means rural settlements are losing services to the extent they have become unsustainable."

During a speech before the National House-Building Council last November, Mr Clegg said: "As the Victorian slums were cleared away, they drew up plans for modern, self-contained, green cities. Places which offered the dynamism and opportunity of urban living, but maintained the harmony and natural beauty of country life as well, where industrial hubs, green spaces and residential areas would be carefully connected by cutting edge transport and infrastructure – everything meticulously thought through. Garden cities: the town in the country; the best of both worlds."

The MP added that is was time to "rediscover that proud tradition of creating new places".

Mr Cotterell also said that the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England's demand that new housing should be built entirely through urban regeneration and on brown field sites wasn't feasible.

He said: "Austerity and the national deficit mean that the regeneration budgets once held by the Homes and Communities Agency and English Partnerships are no longer in place.

"With a need for more than 200,000 homes each year, it will be necessary to use some green field sites, including land for strategic urban extensions and for critically needed rural-based housing of all types."

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