Daily Mail article: Housing crisis could be tackled by allowing 40 towns to become ‘garden cities’ providing an extra 3.5 million homes

WHERE COULD THIS HAPPEN? 

A section of the report suggesting places for expansion lists Oxford, Cambridge, Reading, Guildford, Canterbury, Ashford in Kent, Rochester, Colchester, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich, Northampton, Bedford, Peterborough, Rugby, Stratford-on-Avon, Worcester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Bath, Salisbury, Winchester, Poole, Taunton, Exeter, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Chester, Preston, Blackburn, Harrogate, York, Harrogate, Lincoln, Durham and Carlisle as possible contenders.

  • Planner given prize for idea to double the size of 40 UK towns and cities
  • Garden city plan could overcome opposition by concentrating development
  • Party leaders are now expected to view the plans amid housing shortage

By RICHARD SPILLETT FOR MAILONLINE

Political leaders are to study an award-winning plan to create around 3.5million new homes by expanding up to 40 towns and cities.

Planner David Rudlin was awarded the Wolfson Prize this week for his idea to double the size of existing towns and cities by building more than 80,000 homes in ‘garden cities’ in the green belt.

Party leaders are now said to be taking an interest in his ideas after he won the respected competition – the second biggest economics prize in the world after the Nobel Prize.

A map of David Rudlin's imaginary city, Uxcester, used in his plan to tackle the UK housing crisis. The new developments are shown in lighter colours to the north west, east and south west of the existing city

A map of David Rudlin’s imaginary city, Uxcester, used in his plan to tackle the UK housing crisis. The new developments are shown in lighter colours to the north west, east and south west of the existing city

Mr Rudlin beat nearly 300 entrants to the prize and his ideas are now likely to be viewed by political leaders

Mr Rudlin beat nearly 300 entrants to the prize and his ideas are now likely to be viewed by political leaders

Mr Rudlin proposed expanding a fictional city he called Uxcester, loosely modelled on Oxford, using the principles of the garden city movement of the 1890s.

He says towns with existing populations of around 150,000 people could each be expanded to provide around 86,000 new homes for another 150,000 more people over the next 30 to 35 years.

Mr Rudlin says the opposition of locals to large housing developments could be overcome by concentrating the majority of new buildings in one area and protecting others

Praising his plan, prize founder Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, who is known to be close to chancellor George Osborne, said: ‘We urgently need to build more houses and great places in Britain.

‘David’s entry is a tour de force of economic and financial analysis, creative thinking and bold, daring ideas.’

Labour and the Lib Dems are believed to be keen on the idea of new garden cities to meet the spiralling demand for homes in Britain.

Nick Clegg lays out his Garden City Plan

The plan is based around the idea of garden cities, like that built in Letchworth, Hertfordshire a century ago

The plan is based around the idea of garden cities, like that built in Letchworth, Hertfordshire a century ago

The idea of garden cities, like Welwyn (pictured), is for homes scattered between parks and public gardens

The idea of garden cities, like Welwyn (pictured), is for homes scattered between parks and public gardens

George Osborne unveiled plans for a 15,000 garden city in Ebbsfleet, Kent earlier this year, but some Tories are wary of idea, fearing large house-building projects may lose them votes in rural towns and cities.

Nearly 300 experts entered the £250,000 prize, with five finalists chosen before Mr Rudlin was announced as the winner.

A plan by homelessness charity, Shelter, to build a new garden city on the Hoo Peninsula in Medway, Kent came second.

The garden city movement arose in the late 19th century around the utopian ideas of Sir Ebenezer Howard.

The first garden cities, which featured large open spaces, wide boulevards and green belts, were built in Letchworth and Welwyn, north of London, before the idea was later copied in the US, Australia, Brazil and Argentina.