South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are to receive £405,000 of government funding to help continue work on three garden community projects.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that the capacity funding has been allocated as follows:
Didcot Garden Town – £125,000
Berinsfield Garden Village – £150,000
Dalton Barracks Garden Village – £130,000
The funds will be used to look at the individual projects to help kick-start new studies and innovations needed in each community. It will also be used to progress various ongoing projects in Didcot Town and to help to move forward the creation of garden villages at Berinsfield and Dalton Barracks.
The Garden Communities team will also be looking at what projects have worked particularly well in Didcot to see if they can help to streamline similar projects for Berinsfield and Dalton Barracks, both of which are still at an early stage.
Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town and Cabinet member for development and infrastructure at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The capacity funding will help us to continue working in and around Didcot, which spans both districts, and we can start work on plans for the Dalton Barracks Garden Village project. By having one team working across both councils, we can work much more efficiently and maximise the funds we have for all three locations.”
Cllr Robin Bennett, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Regeneration at South Oxfordshire District Council and local councillor for Berinsfield, said: “Unlike some garden communities, Didcot and Berinsfield are existing settlements with a well-established need for better infrastructure and facilities to support health and wellbeing. This funding will help us to ensure that new development is well planned and truly sustainable, living up to garden community principles, with proper involvement from residents in how new development happens and a long-term vision for delivery.”
Cllr David Rouane, South Oxfordshire Cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town, said: “Since being awarded garden status, Didcot has grown so much – we’ve helped to extend the Orchard Centre and ensured that more affordable homes could be built. However, we’re aware that there’s still plenty of work to do. With this funding, we can continue to work with the community, through our sounding boards, and to speed up the delivery of important projects in the town.”
The councils will continue to work with other garden community teams in the county and Homes England to share best practice and review options on how other more specialised projects can be applied in the district and elsewhere.