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UK Politics

Architects object to 'garden city' solution to crisis


Government proposals to build a fresh wave of garden cities have been criticised by architects who claim new development should focus on existing sites.

Following speculation, Communities secretary Eric Pickles last week said the government may build 'a garden city or two'.

However, leading architects claim the plans are 'outdated' according to the Architects' Journal. A slew of architects have said the proposals were a return to the ideas of Sir Ebenezer Howard, whose 1898 book Garden Cities of To-morrow resulted in the founding of the garden city movement. They added that the proposals wouldn't tackle the housing problem the government currently faces.

Stride Treglown's Dominic Eaton, told the Journal: "The whole garden city idea is very emotive, promising leafy suburbs and a quality of life of a bygone age that is not relevant to the way we live today. If [these proposals] involve the use of green belt, I would be absolutely opposed to the idea."

Chris Brown of Igloo Regeneration, said: "Garden cities will do nothing for the housing crisis. They are unlikely to deliver significant numbers of homes within the next 10 years."

Interest in the projects, urban-planned communities with green belts, has grown in recent years. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is a "strong advocate" of the idea.

The Government has pledged its support for smaller, garden city-style housing developments which will see some 70,000 homes built across the south of England.