Nick Clegg calls for garden cities style building programme as fresh measures to kick start development emerge

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has called for a return to the vision of a previous generation which built garden cities and garden suburbs, as he unveiled details of support being made available to kick start new housing development.

Green city: Image HW
Green city: Image HW
Telling the annual National House Building Council lunch yesterday that the UK had to build its way out of the housing crisis, he revealed that the European Investment Bank will be injecting £400m into the UK affordable housing sector to help deliver new energy efficient affordable homes.

The measure follows an earlier pledge by the coalition government to guarantee £10bn worth of investment in the sector in a bid to get building started.

The challenge, he said, was to create places "that will grow and thrive and become part of the fabric of this great country."

Said Clegg: "We can either condemn ourselves to haphazard urban sprawl – the surest way to damage the countryside. We can cram ever more people into existing settlements, concreting over gardens and parks. Or we can build places people want to live….Places which, rather than destroy the countryside, actually have a crucial role in keeping it intact."

In addtion, the deputy prime minister announced that the government is "intervening directly" to unblock major housing projects including Cranbrook, Fairfield, Northstowe and East Kettering.

Said Clegg: "Where investment is required, I can announce new funding: we will provide £225m of government money, which will also leverage private investment to effectively de-risk these projects and get them moving.

Once these developments are complete, the taxpayer will get that money back said Clegg.

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