New Year, New Towns: 2018 promises to be a pivotal year in the way the country addresses its pressing housing shortage. The government, at last, seems to be serious about setting up five new garden towns, backed by appropriate powers. These are to be firmly rooted in local communities with expressions of interest invited from potential host authorities. DLA physically sits at the geographical centre of the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge growth corridor. This will be a prime focus of attention and significant investment – clearly flagged by the National Infrastructure Commission with its suggestion of a 200,000 population new town between Bicester and Bletchley.
DLA has always been involved with many individual projects in the corridor. Now we are at the forefront of developing a more integrated approach based upon forensic examination of potential transport commitments and the potential for further investment. This should be the year when proper spatial planning is both required and seen as essential to the national and regional growth agenda.
DLA intends to play a key role in supporting both the public authorities and the private sector in channelling future investment to the areas and projects which deliver the optimum payback. Yes, 2018 offers the chance to undertake spatial planning and put well-planned development back at the heart of the national agenda for housing, transport, the environment and economic development. We are ready to deploy our teams to service the demands of the challenges ahead.