Garden shitty? Housing Minister Brandon Lewis' scathing attack on Wolfson Prize winner
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government
Garden shitty? Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis launches scathing attack on Wolfson Prize winning entry
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis has launched a scathing attack on the winner of this week's Wolfson Prize, claiming the plan put forward would create "urban sprawl".
This year's prize - run in association with the right-leaning think-tank Policy Exchange - focused on garden cities, and the government said it was watching with interest.
But the £250,000 winning entry by David Rudlin, which proposed a new Garden Cities Act that would enable existing towns and cities to double in size, was slammed by the housing and planning minister who issued a curt statement insisting that it would "not be taken up" by the government.
Brandon Lewis said: "We are committed to protecting the green belt from development as an important protection against urban sprawl - today’s proposal from Lord Wolfson’s competition is not government policy and will not be taken up.
"Instead, we stand ready to work with communities across the country who have ideas for a new generation of garden cities and we have offered support to areas with locally-supported plans that come forward. But we do not intend to follow the failed example of top-down eco-towns from the last administration. Picking housing numbers out of thin air and imposing them on local communities builds nothing but resentment.
"This government has abolished regional quangos’ role in planning - instead, we have empowered elected local councils to determine where new homes should and shouldn’t go.
"And already we’re working with local councils and residents to develop the first garden city at Ebbsfleet, which will deliver up to 15,000 new homes, and published a prospectus offering support to communities with locally-supported plans for a garden city in their area."
David Rudlin's prize-winning submission - which he claims would lead to the building of "attractive" new homes for thousands of people while preserving the countryside - was described by Lord Simon Wolfson, the founder of the prize as "a tour de force of economic and financial analysis, creative thinking and bold, daring ideas".
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