Last edited 07 Feb 2021

Garden Communities Programme

In August 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published ‘Garden communities: prospectus’ to support the Garden Communities Programme.

The prospectus is intended to encourage bids from local authorities and private sector partners for proposals for new garden communities, and offers government assistance to help deliver their development. This forms part of the government’s aim to increase housebuilding to an average of 300,000 net new homes by the mid-2020s.

The programme currently supports 23 places that intend to deliver over 200,000 homes by the middle of the 21st century, but the prospectus aims to ‘champion ambitious councils’ to deliver further housing and growth.

While the prospectus does not prescribe a template for a garden community, the government suggests it will prioritise proposals for new garden towns (more than 10,000 houses), but will consider proposals for smaller garden villages (1,500-10,000 houses) on the proviso that they demonstrate exceptional quality or innovation, develop brownfield sites, or have the capacity to expand in the future.

The communities should offer opportunities for significant long-term housing and economic growth, and proposals should demonstrate how the new community would fit within the housing need for the area.

It states: '...this is not about creating dormitory towns, or places which just use ‘garden’ as convenient label.This is about setting clear expectations for the quality of the development and how this can be maintained (such as by following Garden City principles).We want to see vibrant, mixed-use, communities where people can live, work,and play for generations to come–communities which view themselves as the conservation areas of the future. Each will be holistically planned, self-sustaining, and characterful.'

Find more information and download the prospectus at

In February 2019, the government announced a £9 million cash injection to speed up the locally-led building of new garden towns and villages, helping get 21 sites ready for development. Ref

See also: Garden communities and the historic environment.

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