How Warwick district will create ‘garden suburbs’ for the 21st century

ATTRACTIVE, spacious houses set back from broad, leafy streets, shops within walking distance of homes, allotments for people to grow their own food - to read Warwick District Council’s brochure on the communities it hopes to build is to step back into a world of post-war optimism.

Garden Towns, Villages and Suburbs, the prospectus the authority has produced, admits it is a return to the values of a ‘golden age’ of town planning.

Using pictures of Bournville, Hampstead and Letchworth and Welwyn Garden Cities alongside Northumberland Road, one of Leamington’s most expensive streets, it paints a picture of how most of us would like to live.

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Drawn up by planning consultants URS, the report sets out plans for “communities which allow people to live sustainable lives, enriched by a high quality environment and convenient facilities and services” in neighbourhoods that will remain attractive “for generations to come”.

The concept has been informed by the Government’s own thinking. The brochure quotes from the National Planning Policy Framework, which says: “The supply of new homes can sometimes be best achieved through planning for large scale development, such as new settlements or extensions to existing villages and towns that follow the principles of Garden Cities.”

With a new town not on the cards, officials believe the principles can best be applied in the creation of new suburbs and expanded villages. The council’s leader Cllr Michael Doody says officers have allocated enough space for houses to be at a lower density than most modern estates.

The ‘integrated’ design would include tree planting and landscaping, plannned shopping centres and a “clear and harmonious” relationship between town and countryside.